Monday, September 29, 2008

QOTW: Part Two

God's Holy Word excluded, What's the best book you've ever read? Part Two

Music has the ability to transcend time and whisk the listener back to the days of old. Ahhh, "Stairway to Heaven" takes me right back to dances at North Middle School in Saginaw Michigan. The gym was packed, the cool 9th graders ruled over the 7th and 8th graders and Tracy Meachem just happened to say "Sure", when I asked her to dance. I was sporting black pants with some kind of dazzling fake silk shirt that would make Jay Gatsby's collection look like some thrift store reject. Oh, and the cord hanging around my neck was fashionable then.
Music is like that. It creates a manageable sensory sensation and I can close my eyes and still hear the music and see Vince in the corner of the gym dancing with Bonnie Somebodyoranother.

For me, books do the same but I am not teleported to the 9th grade. Oh, no. I've matured. I'm in college flipping through the final pages of Firestarter by Stephen King.
Now, I'm not some crazed Stephen King fan. In fact, that may be the only Stephen King novel I've read. I've perused and even used some of his short stories but for some odd reason that book absorbed me during the summer after my first year of college.
I just finished my 4:30 - 12:00 night shift as a security guard on Concordia, Ann Arbor's campus. (I know, treacherous stuff. Hey, somebody might try and sneak in some after-hours piano practice. I had a badge and a flashlight to make sure that nonsense didn't happen. Not on my watch!) I was tired from the grueling rounds but I had only 100 pages to go. I had to finish. Would they catch the girl? Would she lose all her power? Would she snap and send the world, or her little part of it, up in a fiery plume of violence? I remember my attention fading, eyelids dropping. I was not a coffee addict so I did the only sensible act I could concoct. I stood on my lumpy matress reading the book aloud. I know, I know. Goofy, but it worked and all was well with the FireStarter as she rolled into the Rolling Stone office to tell her story.
These memories are so rich that even though that night was over 25 years ago, it could have happened yesterday.
The power of words.


Josh Evans said...

A (former) fellow security officer...I'm sure the Ann Arbor rapscallions are just as mischievous as the River Foresters.

Julianne said...

Hmmm...definitely need some new favorite books, but at the top of the list are Their Eyes Were Watching God, Condoleezza Rice's biography, Madonna's biography, The Fountainhead, and the Diary of Anne Frank. I would love to read Pride and Prejudice and more biographies of women involved in law or politics.

Steve Ng said...

Dear John Brandt,

Your latest blog entry has grammatical errors. Please revise this copy and submit the new blog post to me no later than this Friday. If you choose not to your grade will be deducted by one full letter grade.

JBrandt said...

Resubmitted. My apologies.