It’s a Man Thing

by Lou Borgenicht

So I rarely take an hour or two to sit down and read concertedly. My habits are sporadic and it takes me a long time to finish a book.

Every night I go to bed with the promise of reading at least a few pages of the book I currently say I am reading. I sit propped up for only five or ten minutes before the urge to hit the pillow overcomes me. I toss the throw pillow on the floor and go to sleep.

On my night table currently are the following unread books: In One Person, The Cat’s Table, Far From the Tree, Parisians, FDR and the Jews, Turn of Mind, The Human Stain, and The Last Manly Man (a paperback mystery mysteriously given to me by Dawn Houghton).

I just finished And the Show Went On (I have to read occasional books about France during the Nazi occupation–I think I had a previous life there as a French Jew). As I reached the last thirty pages I decided I would sit down in the middle of the afternoon and plough through the end in anticipation of opening my next book. I had already picked it out, The Devil in Silver.

Finally, the night before Thanksgiving I opened my new book at 10:00 p.m. and quickly read the first chapter before going to sleep. On Thanksgiving I lay down to take a nap but could not find the book. I looked under the bed and carefully checked the night table, but I could not find it. Could Jody have picked it up out of curiosity and not placed it back where it belonged?

I checked in the living room, my study, and the bathroom. No book.

I would have to wait until Jody got home.

Barely after she got in the door I confronted her.

“I have a mystery,” I said. “The book I was reading last night has disappeared.”

“What do you mean? What was the title?”

“I don’t know,” I admitted. It is not unusual for me not to recall either the author of a book I am reading or the title.

Without taking her coat off she went into the bedroom. There behind my night table was The Devil in Silver.

“Where was it?” I asked sheepishly.

“Behind the night table,” she said with understandable incredulity. “And how can you not know the title of the book you are reading?”

I had no answer.


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