The Books They Gave Me

In which we reflect on books given us by loved ones.

Flynn.

                             

I had just met him and when I told him I was working the next week monitoring the summer storage room at our college, he said he would lend me a book. He gave me “Another Bullshit Night in Suck City,” by Nick Flynn, because it was about working in a Boston homeless shelter, and working with the homeless was something he had done all through college. He wanted me to read the book so I had an idea what it was like. I read the whole thing in a week, sitting on the cold floor of this huge room while moving-out students filled it with boxes, and I slowly began to learn more about him. By the end, I was so in love with him and so desperate to have any excuse to talk to him that I slipped a photo of myself and my mom in between the pages when I gave the book back. Just in case, if we lost touch, I could say “Hey, I used this picture of me and my mom as a bookmark, and I think I left it in the book…”

That was five years ago. Two months ago we got married. The photo is still in the book.

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    I had just met him and when I told him I was working the next week monitoring the summer storage room at our college, he...
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