Mommy mommy


Mommy mommy my brain can read again!

I have a friend in his 50s who has not read one book since high school. And what might that book have been? Of all the titles in all the world, Jude the Obscure.


I howled with laughter.

I know someone in her 60s who, though she is a writer with a degree in English and had been a ravenous reader, was unable to finish a book or even a comic strip, for several years. She–I–had formerly picked up another book as soon as I–she–had set one down.


until I felt good.

Loving What Is is a self-help–motivational book (as identified on the ISBN label) that caught my eye as I passed a bookstore’s outside sale table. In it Bryon Katie describes waking up from her miserable life on the floor of a halfway house, and presto change-o, she was a new person.

Jambi’s wife Jambalaya


I had a similar awakening

not long ago, whereby I realized that a string of heartbreaks, misfortunes and instability had built into an eight-year-long depressive episode, which one day magically lifted. I feel lighter, nearly buoyant, closer to the peace I have always sought, that everything’s going to be OK. With me–not the country or planet; that’s still up in the fossil fuel-ridden air. But it’s on me and me alone to enjoy and be grateful for my one wild and precious life, yes?


All loners know

what a great companion a book is. You can enter a stranger’s mind via a book. You can learn physics from Einstein. You can take the pressure off your own story and indulge in someone else’s. You can learn how to knit, how to strip wood, how to dress a wound, how to sew a French seam, how to rebuild a carburetor. You can learn ballet positions and tantric sex positions. But my favorite use of a book is to take joy in beautiful language artfully arranged. I also love laying a book on my chest, closing my eyes and smelling the pages. And then having a cat come sit on my head.

So I’m devouring books again. They are plant-based, zero in calories, and leave you feeling full.

Excuse me, John Waters

“Did I just ask John Waters to excuse me?”

I asked John Waters, getting up for my stop on the F-line. I had! Apparently he has an apartment here in [SF], and was nice enough to let me snap his picture just because, hey, John Waters had sat next to me on the trolley. Proof. The empty space on his right is where I had previously sat next to him.

“If you go home with somebody, and they don’t have books, don’t fuck ’em!” – John Waters


to yourself, my dear.

I’m reading and writing again. Just like I did as a kid when I hadn’t gone to sleep yet and the ‘hood was not yet awake. Just as I did as an overly zealous English major.

I’m surprised I couldn’t find that mommy mommy commercial on youtube. Here is one to hold its place.

Source: chuckiesjamochashake

♦ ♣ ♥ ♠

“Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.”– Mason Cooley

5 thoughts on “Mommy mommy”

  1. Mayor Alexandra,
    Glad you are still flying your flag. Read about your efforts to help someone and the obstacles you ran into a couple months ago. Is your old email still working?

  2. Doug Minkler!
    Yes my email’s working and apparently so are you. Still out there telling it like it is. I fly my flag intermittently. Sometimes I drop it. How lovely to hear from you. More, please.

  3. My dear Ms. Jones,

    You have certainly struck a chord with this issue of the ax files. I have voraciously read from the moment I cracked the code.. no more wandering around looking for an old person, having to beg
    ‘please read me a story’. I knew I now had the key to the world (well.. what I thought was my world, at five your world is quite a bit smaller) We lived next to my father’s parents in town and 40 miles away from my mother’s parents farm, on the plains of South Dakota. I spent a lot of time in the summers at my mother’s parents. Most days playing and helping with small chores. But on rainy days I disappeared into the attic, where the only thing stored were newspapers, magazines and books! My nest was near the single window, for light, as the REA wouldn’t come to this part of S.D. for about another 10 years. There I eventually worked my way (like a bookworm) through years of LIFE, LOOK, and Saturday Evening Posts, Collier’s, Farm Journals, and others. Thanks to an older uncle I was able to join Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle or T.S. and His Submarine Boat. Some of the older books for younger readers you could thumb flip the corner of the pages and watch a simple, crude, cartoon video flash by.

    My first adult book read was my father’s copy of “Kon Tiki” by Thor Heyerdahl.. I would have been 8 or 9. I ferreted out my father’s first issue of “Playboy”with the MM centerfold. Holy smoke!!! Like you Alexandra, I have always had books in the wings waiting to reload when the current one is finished. I used to keep different books in separate locations when it was more difficult to carry them from place to place (no, they weren’t written on stone).. so I would have 2 or 3 books going at once. I have always read a little or a lot before going to sleep depending on how much of my life’s candle I had burned that day.. or evening.

    You’re correct, at least in my case, about it being a lifesaver for a loner. Maybe I would have made more of my life if I had spent less time reading.. but I’m not going to go there. I’ve been entertained and educated.. sometimes thrilled.. sometimes threatened.. moved to tears and laughter and awe, (plus every single thing that you’ve said in your most splendid post) every single day of my life that I’ve been well enough to hold up a book and turn the pages.

    Thanks for the memories and the reminder, Alexandra,.. Jim

  4. Oh, you give me hope. Ever since I moved to Hawaii five years ago, I have read only a few books. I used to read every day for hours. I don’t know why that has changed.
    I’m much more distractible than I ever have been. Hard to sit still, short reading stints (bathroom book gets read, I confess). Start one, start another. Lots of books on the shelf. There’s simply no excuse. I’ve read for hours nearly every day of my life, and I don’t know why this has changed. Maybe I’ll get magically lifted up as you have been. Of course, any tips will be appreciated.

    1. What happened to the perfect reply I could swear I wrote to this? The only thing I remember from it is “depression descends like a black cloud–but clouds also lift, don’t they?” It happened when I started up the column again. I haven’t been myself in years, so reading and writing means I’m officially back! I welcome myself.

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