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Classics Rock


In trying to explain to my friend why reading classics, writing letters, and hanging out in coffee shops (but mostly the classics) appeals to me, I said this:  I might be nostalgic for a time when avoiding an active shooter was not a life skill. Of course, in that statement is so much privilege.  My country is still relatively safe. I have easy access to food, water and shelter. I have the ability to type this post and put it online. My gay bars of the 90’s and early 2000’s were safe. Yes, there was hate outside the bar. There were insults yelled from passing cars when I was out walking my dog, invasive questions about my sex life, secrets kept and lies told by me about my personal life to people I deemed unsafe. But in the bar, there was safety, acceptance, and belonging.

I am privileged.  I get to move about and live my life safely. Yet still, it’s a more worrisome world. Maybe the world has always been thus, since humans began, but I’m just paying more attention.

I’m working on a 2016 reading challenge, which asks me to read a book I should have read in high school. I chose Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Reading a book that I pretended to read when I was 16 made me nostalgic for that time, something I rarely feel. It also made me feel connected to one of many messages in the book- it might be dangerous to ignore your literary history (well, that and living your life hooked on soma will fuck you up). Maybe that’s why I need to read more classics; I’m communing with literary history. The 2016 book challenge also advises reading a banned book. so I chose Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. Classic? Yes. Considered one of the 100 best novels? Yep.  Entertaining and Funny? Check. Vonnegut is reminding me that this being human and being saddened by our unkindness to each other is universal and timeless. The thing to do is choose kind, and I guess for me, read classics.

For camping, I am bringing What is the What because my bookmark has not moved from page 113 for months.

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