.......with a book.
It's called "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed.
I was leery of it when my co-worker, Julie, told me that I had to read it.
"You'll love it, I can feel it," she told me. "It's a Maria book. A Maria character."
I was doubtful. It's a memoir written by a woman who hiked the Pacific Crest trail.
Right. Hiking. Because I'm such an avid hiker.
But, I ordered it from the library and when it finally came in (I was on a waiting list for months but didn't have enough interest to buy it), I cracked open the spine to take a look at the photo and blurb about the author. Hmmm.
Well, I'd give it a go, I decided.
By page four, I was madly in love with this book. Felt like I knew the author.
I bonded so deeply with this book that I would stare at it across a crowded room like a lovesick teenager. When I was paying bills, talking to my family, whatever, what I really wanted to be doing was reading this book.
I took it to work with me and closed my door during lunch time, eating a sandwich from home and diving into the book. When I would look up and see that a half hour had gone by, I was morose, knowing that I had to wait until that evening to continue.
I read voraciously, hungry as a wolf. I took it to bed and became furious when my sleepy eyes started to close in fatigue and prevented me from going on in the book.
I was in deep with Cheryl Strayed and Wild.
Finally, as I neared the end, I forced myself to take smaller sips of the book, like an alcoholic trying not to gulp down that whole bottle of wine. Instead, I rationed it out carefully.
But, all good things must end.
Today, I went up to the cafeteria with book in hand and sat down with a cheeseburger to read the last few pages. I willed everyone who knew me to stay away. Mercifully, they did.
I finished the book and then sat quietly with tears in my eyes.
I stroked the cover, hugged the book close to me as I walked back down to my office. If I had been certain that no one would have seen, I would have kissed it.
On the drive home, I told myself to stop at the library and put it in the return box. I couldn't do it. It wasn't due for five days, I told myself, it was perfectly fine to walk around holding this book.
So, that's what I've decided to do. And on Saturday, when it is due back, I will go to the book store and buy a few copies of this book. Keep one for myself and give one to people that are special to me who I know will like it.
Some books are just holy that way.
Read it. Please.