Just a warning: this post is a rambler.
So, remember this post? Tonight I picked up the same book, and, when turning to another of my favorite stories, I became frustrated with the dust jacket. When trying to remove the cover, I noticed that the front cover flap was taped down. This was confusing, because I am not the kinda guy who would ever put tape on a book. EVER. I’d consider it abuse.
But when I broke the tape, I discovered a note that I’d written to myself in 1998, years after I’d read the book but clearly in regard to how the book had affected me. The note reads
“To myself—I wish myself unfailing inspiration and a will to defeat any obstacle or criticism that stands in the way of my writing.
“And—to my dad, I thank you for your constant support and love. I’ll see you soon, and I miss you dearly.
Jerrod W. Liveoak
October 28, 1998”
In October 1998, I was in my third year at IU, my father had passed away on May 22 of that year, I had (only after his death) come out to my mother partially out of guilt and partially out of being totally over everything, and I was incredibly serious about my creative writing coursework.
Here I am, 14 years after I scrawled this note on the inside front cover of a book that made me feel human, on a path that is different but adjacent to the path I tread then.
Tonight, when I settled into bed beside a sleeping Bruce, picked up the book, and discovered some prick had taped—TAPED—the inside front flap down, I was unreasonably annoyed. Then I caught a glimpse of the messy writing on the IFC, read it, and my mind just…settled.
It’s gonna be a rough fall.