Friday, December 30, 2005

A book review and some blubbering about my mom

Within 24 hours, I finished Chuck Klosterman's Killing Yourself to Live. This is what I like to do on my vacation (aside from going to the movies) - read. A lot. Depending on the book or the writing style, I can get through a 250-300 pager in a day or two. Chuck Klosterman is an easy read. It was the same with Sex, Drugs, & Cocoa Puffs. His writing is direct and all about pop culture so his books are more like long-form Spin articles than nonfiction works. And since I am someone who relates much of my life to pop culture, I am right there with him through every obscure musical reference or TV show.

I would like to sit down and have a conversation with him some time.

ANYWAY, the book's premise is that Klosterman will travel around the country visiting the places where famous musicians have died. He will try and understand what it is about dying that makes artists become even more famous - or at least known. Not to ruin the book for those of you who haven't read it, but musical death takes a backseat when Klosterman is alone in his rental car, thinking about the women in his life. The women all relate to music in some way, but this book is more about relationships than rock stars dying.

I liked it.

For me, the most relevant passage came toward the very end. I would like to quote the entire thing, but that would a) take up too much space and time and b) probably be plagiarism. So I will try and split it up into something that still gets at the very meaning of what he is saying (this is page 232 for those of you who have a copy):

"We all have the potential to fall in love a thousand times in our lifetime...But there are certain people you love who do something else; they define how you classify what love is supposed to feel like. These are the most important people in your life, and you'll meet maybe four or five of these people over the span of 80 years. But there's still one more tier to all this; there is always one person you love who becomes that definition...This is the person who unknowingly sets the template for what you will always love about other people...[they] are not inherently different than anyone else, and they're often just the person you happen to meet the first time you really, really want to love someone. But that person still wins...Because for the rest of your life, they will control how you feel about everyone else."

I say that this passage is relevant because I've been doing a lot of thinking about relationships, love (or what I thought was love), and other assorted items. I mentioned that I was feeling emotional over the past weekend, and I'm still feeling that way. There are those people, the few important ones that you meet in your life, that have this hold over you. Sometimes they disappear for awhile and you don't realize just how much they mean. Or maybe they are around often, but then you have a moment or two with them that changes everything because you see how special they are in your life. I think my mother is a perfect example. She's around all the time. I love my mother and we are very close. But it is over the past year that I've realized how sad I would be if she wasn't here. On Christmas Eve I had a dream that she died. I woke up in tears. Even writing about it now, I can feel myself about to cry. Just hours before falling asleep that night, my mom told me that she came home the night of her birthday and started crying. Because of my generous gift. Because she loves me. Because I am her only daughter, only child, and closest friend.

I promise I will get back to the nonfamily related emotions soon....


Me said...

nice post.

The Scarlett said...

Very nice post.

Erin, I want to share something I did when my mother was still alive. Every year on my birthday, I would send her flowers. She loved it.