A few nights ago I pulled down Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield off Kurt's shelf and decided to read it. It was a quick read and I got through it in about 3 nightly pre-bed sittings. It was an incredibly sweet and sad little esoteric slice of someone's real life. In fact, once he started writing about his wife dying, I actually began crying so hard I had to put the book aside and collect myself - twice! A book has never done that to me before.
He has an entire chapter on widows/widowers and what it means to be one in our society, and he incorporates it into the coolest chapter I've ever read about Jackie Kennedy.
Granted, I've never read anything about Jackie Kennedy, but maybe I should now start. He writes about her in the context of being the most famous widow of all time, and how she refused to leave the White House after JFK died, which sounded sort of familiar.
He also writes this paragraph, which I think is one of the most brilliant things I've ever read about pain and grief:
It's the same with people who say, "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger." Even people who say this must realize that the opposite is true. What doesn't kill you maims you, cripples you, makes you weak, makes you whiny and full of yourself at the same time. The more pain, the more pompous you get. Whatever doesn't kill you makes you incredibly annoying.
I love it.
He ends the book, basically, by giving a retrospective converage of the excitment of the 90's music scene, and now, how weird it all seems in retrospect. It's some of the best 90's nostalgia I've ever read, and did make me feel very nostalgic for my youth. Which I guess I've been feeling a lot lately.
I really wish I still had all the seemingly hundreds of mix tapes I've ever made and/or received over the years. What a trip that would be to listen to those.