Tuesday, May 26, 2009

In The Beginning ...

So here we go. Though mostly baffled by even the slightest increment in technological prowess – I once managed to short the brakes on a ride-on lawnmower, recently purchased, through no discernable means beyond touch and very, very gentle consideration on how the whole whirring mechanical monstrosity worked in the first place, thus sending the two of us careening in what I’m certain were equal measures of bewilderment downhill towards my mother’s statue garden – I find myself, in short, starting a blog.
I’ve been reluctant in starting this damned thing in the first place. I’ve never really read blogs, so how one goes about making them interesting? The motivation is there, of course. I read a lot, and this way, not only do I get to keep a journal of sorts on the books I’ve read, what I thought of them, but I also get to pretend that someone else out there might get a kick of out these reviews as well.
It’s this whole notion of “interest” that has kept me restrained. Or rather, “entertainment”. Given this is the closest I imagine I’ll get to being published anytime soon, I should endeavour to make this as polished, as erudite – as entertaining – as I can, right? This should be the Phantom of the Opera of review sites. You know, dramatic overture, papier-mâché monkey, love and masks. Hilarity. Death (now that would be the sign of a well-received review). If people started hanging themselves from the rafters of the Paris Opera House after reading this blog, I’d be somewhat saddened over the loss of life, you betcha. But, you know, I think there’s a part of me that’s going to be a little disappointed if no one ends up six-feet-under (or dangling six-feet overhead). Better still, if we can send someone stark-raving mad (and yes, this has become a joint enterprise now between thee and me) in the grand tradition of Lovecraft or Danielewski, then hell, we can disband with death altogether. We’d have notoriety, and that never dies. In fact, I suspect it just gets more entertaining as years go by.
Of course, there’s going to have to be at least some commentary on Adam’s Book-O-The-Week, and I imagine this is where I’m going to fall flat. Be funny. Intelligent. Open reader’s eyes to some dark and wondrous world just behind the fabric of things. Sure, sure, sounds good. Take us home, Adam. Convince me why it’s a good idea to grab that Vollmann or Straub and start caving in the walls, just, you know, start swinging, by God, let’s see what we can find, let’s see what we spy when things start to slide, when your husband or wife comes home from their day at work and the key starts to turn in the lock and you’re crouched in the space where the oven used to nestle, stuffing your mouth with Moby Dick or Great Expectations, humming along to All I Ask of You through the pages, and boy, aren’t they going to be mad when they see what you’ve done with the oven! How furious! Just wait til they see the bassinet...
Man, did it ever just get dark in here! Kind of chilly, yeah? But not an unpleasant cold. The kind of cold you get when you’re rugged up on the couch and a draft sweeps the room. It’s soothing until you start to consider where that draft might be coming from. What window was left open on a night such as this? And when someone enters the room, someone you don’t recognise, and the breeze is carrying the smell of them across the room to you, the smell of mulch, the smell of old leather, do you freeze? Wrapped in the blankets, immobile? You have your book still, though. That much, at least, is secure. Will remain secure, forever; how ever long that is. So the stranger takes the chair from the corner and places it opposite you. Sits, crosses their feet. Staring at the ceiling and breathing softly. Waiting.
There are no other sounds. The room has turned warm. What else? You open the book to the chapter you are about to begin.
You clear your throat.