Saturday, May 30, 2009
She Got Up Off the Couch
I was so smitten with Haven Kimmel's writing in her memoir Zippy that the sequel was in my greedy hands the next day. I got the last copy, paid the bookstore megachain full price, and was glad of it. I'd have tipped the author if I could.
I was so happy to be back in Mooreland, listening to more stories, I cannot begin to tell the full extent. I'm 48 pages in and may just stop reading every written thing and read Treasure, the 7th little chapter in the sequel over and over. I laughed until my stomach hurt. I loved the story, the description of the stuff on the floor, the glee with which a child can wear something ridiculous, coloring, happy as a clam, and have her world blown wide open by a random, sparkly person who magically pops into her life. The Hitchhiker. What a perfect story, eloquent and hilarious.
The surprise was when I went back to actually look at the picture at the top of the first page of the story. Both books contain the added perk of actual photographs to begin each chapter, polaroids of actual people stuck in these lovely moments in time. I am such an impatient reader and a total spaz, that I thought it was just a picture of Zip and her Dad, who I thought looked mighty young and not my preconceived notion. I was ill informed. Right there, in black and white, is irrefutable proof, a snapshop of the Hitchhiker and Zip, the little girl whose heart and imagination were gobsmacked, and thought that's the treasure, right there. Not the stuff you have, but the stuff that makes you dream. And the thought of it made tears burn in my eyes, which surprised me, since I was still laughing. Textbook bittersweet.
I remembered the way people have come into my world, thanks to the open minds and hearts of my parents, and plain old serendipity, to make me see more, wish for more, demand to see and do and be more. I had forgotten some of them, people who saw the spark in me and didn't squash it, but instead urged me to see what was out there, if only because I could. It really moved me, the reminder of the gifts people give with their presence, hidden like that in a funny little treasure of a story.
I have finished the book now, and naturally, I'm a little sad to say goodbye to these characters and stories. I didn't realize how much I'd enjoy a skewed look back at my own riduculously unbelievable childhood, so different but so similar to Haven's. I'm sorry that Haven had to lose her father to find her mother, and that, like all of us, she had to grow up.