A Handsome Jacket

“But they danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who nveer yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!'”

Two months before I left, the fall was just getting crisp and I took on my normal autumnal habit of filling my ears with soothing Bob Dylan records, donning tights and dark outfits, and taking lots of black and white photographs. I can’t imagine I’ll ever feel comfortable living in this decade/time frame. So I began this book and let myself tumble further into those longing feelings for a time, a place, and a culture I’ll never know.

A month later, I realized I’d be better off delving deeper into my Spanish novels, in the vain hope of salvaging what was left of my truly fluent tongue from my life in Spain. I put down the Kerouac and picked up my copy of Moby Dick (translated). I resolved not to read a single English book or publication up to or during my trip and am proud to say I kept that promise.

Now, almost fifteen days have passed and I’m just getting to the huge stack of books on my nightstand and coffee table. I was lucky to spend all of today sipping on Jasmine tea and plunging even further into the world that I vaguely recalled from the few chapters I’d started before my trip.I felt cozier, comforted just reading of such a time.

Unfortunately, my copy isn’t nearly as handsome as this one (pictured above), designed by Jez Burrows for a Penguin Books competition. What I wouldn’t give to be counted amongst the designers that Penguin uses for its classic novels (and new ones, as well).

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