Lately I have been beset by sudden attacks of loose ends, when I wander the neighborhood (or house, if I'm tired) not knowing quite what to do. Of course, there are many things I should do—clean the bathrooms. Earn some money. Find out what I'm supposed to do with the mysterious tax letter. But somehow those never come immediately to mind.
I am writing this in case you are suffering the same strange, late-May fog, because I have recently discovered what to do. You should read The Blue Fairy Book. No, not the big thick one with lots of words. The weird, inexplicable hard-cover one from my childhood. Like so:
Do you know why you should read it? Because of Felicia and the Pot of Pinks.
There is something about these illustrations that touches my soul in a strange and profound way. But even the pot of pinks pales beside—Diamonds and Toads.
Do you SEE? Jewels are coming out of her mouth! The extent to which this affected me as a child is…is probably not altogether OK. And not just because of her poor sister:
Snakes and toads in her mouth. How did it feel? I mean, I spent some time wondering about the jewels in the mouth too (aren't diamonds sort of, er, hard and sharp?) but the slithery aliveness of these give me pause.
But truly, there is nothing like a weird, fairy-tale book from your childhood to send you rocketing back to when you were another person, and the world and its stories were more…permeable. You could go right inside, without even hesitating. I think it's what I still search for, when I read.
Anyway, there you go, that should keep you off the streets and prevent you from getting anything useful done. If you have any bizarre dreamworld books from your childhood that might not be actually good, but have that weird hold on you, by all means leave them in the comments. We're always looking for tickets to the other side.