There was a time in my life when, and I'm nearly certain here, I went years without crying. Years. Plural. I'm not entirely sure why (I do have my suspicions though), but I just didn't do it. No book or movie or song could pull so much as a drop from my ducts, and no person for that matter. But lately, well, lately you would be hard-pressed to string together even two weeks in which I don't rain fat, salty drops into a $6 salad in the middle of a busy restaurant at 1:30 on a work day over some silly words in a book that I had already read before. Like these words, for instance.
Sam put his elbows on his knees and held his face in his hands. He looked at Scot as if he'd known him forever. "I thought about you all day long, Scot. Since you came to live with Ed and me, I think about you all the time. So does Ed." He closed his eyes and smiled. And when he opened his eyes, he said, "It's so great you live here with us. When I'm on my way home, I can't wait to talk to you about school and how you're feeling and what's for dinner." Then Sam shook his head apologetically. "But there's something incredibly important I keep forgetting to tell you." Here, he inserted a very long pause.
Scot and I both wanted to scream, What? What did you forget? But we held our cool.
Sam said, "You’re going to change. In the next few years, you're going to change a lot, Scot. You'll get taller and your feet will grow, and your arms and legs and shoulders will be amazingly different. It's happening every day, and you're so used to it that you won't even notice all the changes. But I will. Every day of your life, I will notice you. I will memorize you every morning, and you will be a picture on my heart wherever I go."
Scot bowed his head, and then he went farther and rested his forehead on the table. He was sobbing.
Who wasn't, indeed.
Those words, the ones up there that wrecked my $6 salad last week, are from Michael Downing's wonderful novel Breakfast with Scot. It's about a gay couple who unexpectedly become guardians to a young, unusual, makeup-sporting boy after his mother dies of a drug overdose. The book is heartwarming and hilarious and sad and I love it so much that I've read it more than once and have somehow ended up with a few copies (used, of course) that I'd like to distribute to folks who might like to read them and also perhaps discuss them with me. So, if you don't mind me knowing your mailing address, message me a quote from your favorite book and if I have still have a copy left by the time I get it, I'll send one your way.