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Thursday, December 24, 2009

12/24/09

The date says it all.

Last night, I braved the roads and went to the Tennessee Mall; I imagine that the streets of Mecca must look similar to what I saw. At this point, I learned something about myself: turns out, I'm a "personal Platonist." I've always thought of myself as an "Aristotelian" because I prefer horses to "horsness," but I was mistaken. My personal Platonism expresses itself as an ardent attempt on my part to avoid as much physical human contact as possible. I am generally amenable to acts of affection when they are restricted to my wife, but I'd rather share a smile with everyone else any day than a hug; I'm already claustrophobic, and I've never been able to escape the thought that a hug is really just an exceptionally over-heated biological elevator, bereft of the soothing music...

Needless to say, it became quite difficult to traverse the parameters of the mall without climbing into someone else's lap, or at least dusting off their shoulders. I had to desist, of course. My elliptical detours began to inspire a vast malaise of vertigo, I myself was feeling the pangs of motion sickness.

When I entered the bookstore I was overcome with glee at the remarkably opaque and esoteric books available for my fevered perusal. Once I had selected from this enviable list a title that would bore the most intrepid of archival moles, I was in the for the evening....

Gift cards, along with every other piece of technology known to man, do nothing but convince me more everyday that the Stone Age is preferable to this. If I could, I'd move in with the "Flintstones." All that is to say, the card didn't work, though I was absolutely convinced I could fix it with a hammer. I was beside myself. How could I give up Frye's Anatomy of Criticism because of a miserable piece of plastic that was "as dead as a doornail?" Suppressing my panic, and ignoring the gravity of the situation, I suggested a manual entry, in order to capture each digit of the card.

As I write, Frye waits patiently by my side; I just can't wait to add this to the list of books I'm pretending to read. Having just finished pretending to read The Beauty of the Infinite, it's time for a new project. After I'm done with Frye, I'm going to pretend to read the Complete Revised Encyclopedia Britanica.

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