Sunday, August 2, 2009

My Sock Drawer and Yours: The Book Connection

During this morning's early walk, I endeared myself to four dog-walking acquaintances (people who know my dog by sight) and three friends (people who know Phoebe's name) by asking not only "how are you today?" but also "do you dust your books?"

Everyone I asked had a leash in one hand and a coffee container in the other. Weren't they ready to take on the world? Maybe it was the weather (rain was on the way) or the summer-Sundayness of my experiment, but the glances and answers I received made me wonder if I had asked not about my fellow New Yorkers and their books but about their daily consumption of trans fats. Had I confirmed rumors of the nanny state's arrival and empowerment, and announced myself as neighborhood book nanny?

"You're kidding." (This reply was not posed as a question.)
"Huh?" with chuckling obbligato.
"Why would I?"
The other answers were just as revealing.

What prompted my question? I confessed (after all, we discuss our dogs' digestion when relevant): It had been a potentially disheartening Saturday night, with a Yankees loss and Phoebe worried about a misplaced ball, so I plunged into my sock drawer, a raid that produced three specimens, which I thanked for their service to my feet and rededicated to our books. I amused Phoebe with the puppet effect of my scampering hand in a ragged tennis sock, and then unburdened many books about baseball of much of the soil on their top edges. The dust I brushed into a sink, which I later cleaned with one of the rededicated socks before discarding it with its dusting mates.

Phoebe and I were listening to the radio, and I reached for the first book just as a new piece began to play; I'll dust until the final note, I decided. It can't have been more than 15 minutes, but I accomplished something. I think I dusted in time with the music. Do I have more books that need dusting? I do, but better to dust the few then and more soon than none ever and wonder why they're all dirty.

While I dusted, Phoebe chose a new ball for her evening's plaything (we found the missing ball before bedtime), and when the dusting music ended, curled up with me and a book fit for proximity to both our noses.

Next time: Socks Appeal (How the Conversations Ended)

1 comment:

  1. Yes, if you care for books, you care for dogs, and hopefully all things great and small.
    Bravo on a delightful mixture of fact and whimsy.