Because I’m pretty much finished working on my landscaping project, which is a wintertime thing (it’s now heating up in the Palm Springs area), I’ve started doing some spring cleaning and rearranging inside. It is now exactly two years since I bought this house.
When I moved in, I dropped bookshelves here and there and loaded them up. The past two evenings have been devoted to moving them to better locations and weeding out quite a few books. Yes, I moved them here from Michigan in 2011. Why didn’t I throw them out then?
Of course, perspectives change. And I keep acquiring new volumes. But no more bookshelves, ever! Hence, the weeding. I keep books that I might reread or refer to–that’s it!
So I look at Gore Vidal’s memoir Palimpsest. Why did I read it in the first place? I’d never laid a hand on one of his novels. All I remember from his memoir is that he didn’t like to kiss his gay lovers. “Girls invented kissing,” he wrote. I may even be able find it somewhere in those 434 pages.
Now I remember why I own it: I once met Gore Vidal. It was around 1980, backstage at The Tonight Show. I knocked on his dressing room door, gave him the trifling ‘zine I used to produce, and chatted with him before he went on the show.
“We authors must do our duty,” he told me, referring to the TV tour for his new book, whatever it was.
Alas, he failed to mention the moment in his memoir.
I’m also unloading Sexual Pathways: Adapting to Dual Sexual Attraction, which I purchased in July of 2013 for $29, hoping to understand. She said she wasn’t gay, or even really bisexual, and would never do that again. Maybe it’s true, as the book asserts, that some people don’t identify as bisexual, that they carry on a same-sex relationship as a one-time thing.
But what I’ve learned about her is that she probably would do that again if status were to be gained, if a famous lesbian showed interest.
Now, though, Sexual Pathways is like a bus with an “Out of Service” sign.
There are a lot of other surprises in the outbound pile, lesser or obscure works by DeLillo and Roth, and even Bonfire of the Vanities, which has gone from blockbuster to mere block.
Let us see what develops. I could end up regretting the Vidal.