October 16, Saturday morning -- Reading Jonathan Lethem

My friend Anhoni, reading Motherless Brooklyn, by Jonathan Lethem, though, ironically, behind that book is a mother and her baby swaddled in an ergo carrier.
To keep the baby asleep, she's pacing while she's reading. I asked her to come over and read aloud to me while I'm recovering from foot surgery. I was hoping she'd bring over a novel she'd written herself -- All Good Things Die in L.A. -- and read to me about one of the characters who doesn't die.

I am the worst sick person. When I have the cold or flu, I always think I'm going to die or, in this case, never walk again. But, books are medicine -- if you can see characters triumph over hardship, you think you can, too. And, I love being read to. With my foot in a cast, I can get away with ostentatious requests like the (polite) "read to me!"

Doesn't everyone love being read to?

Motherless Brooklyn is one of her favorite books. She read me a passage where the main character, Lionel, a detective with Tourettes and OCD, mourns the death of his boss, and devours a precise number of turkey sandwiches -- the number determined by his OCD tendencies -- while listening to Prince's song Kiss, which, with its rhythms is, apparently, a pleasing song to the Tourettes brain -- and then passes out and goes to sleep.

I am thankful that no one in my life has died and that I have a hurt foot and not Tourettes. Though, like Lionel, I do like Prince.