Embarassingly, I am still unpacking things from my move. I just opened my last carton of books, in which I discovered The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. Funnily enough, I had just been discussing that very book on Tuesday, because it has one of the best opening sequences in the history of the universe. So I flipped it open, only to discover that my college boyfriend had left a note on the flyleaf.
Memory is a funny thing; although we haven't seen each other in more than ten years, I immediately recognized the handwriting. Even before I looked at the date on the inscription, I was cast back to the cavernous apartment on 44th and Walnut where the miles of ancient hardwood flooring were practically innocent of furniture, but the walls were fully occupied storing vinyl, polycarbonate, and reconstituted tree pulp. There we sat for countless hours, wiling away a happy youth producing overflowing ashtrays and impassioned marginalia*. As the inscription itself bears the full charm of youthful book annotation, I herewith reproduce it:
Remember, every time you do something stupid, it will leave a memory with which you will have to live for fifty years. This is the great advantage of drinking to excess: memory loss.
But the real charm is the accompanying note:
[reword to snappy epigram]
* You see, back then, we were immortal. Also, cigarettes only cost $1.50 a pack.
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