Wednesday, May 16, 2012

In Need of a Little Cozy

Back in the golden days when Big Man and I were engaged, he took me to this lovely little bookstore in downtown DC where I found a batteredly beautiful copy of Helene Hanff's 84, Charing Cross Road. I'd never read it before, but bought it on a whim, and thoroughly enjoyed it shortly thereafter. It's a collection of post WWII letters between a London bookseller and a New York bibliophile, and they are funny and poignant and just absolutely lovely. It's a slim little book with a wonderfully awful 70's style paperback cover (I couldn't find the exact one to put in here), so when Little Man got scheduled for surgery, I tucked it into the diaper bag to keep me company while he was "going under the knife". And it paid off, especially since what was supposed to be outpatient surgery turned into an overnight stay.

I was able to go back with Little Man when he was being anesthetized--he was a little champ--and when I came back and retrieved Tiny from the friends who'd kindly stayed with him and then sent them off to get lunch and visit another friend who happened to be at the hospital, I curled up with a slightly soggy PB&J, Helene Hanff (the bibliophile), and Frank Doel (the British bookseller). Tiny had fallen asleep in the stroller, and I needed something to distract me from the Very Bad soap opera that was playing on the waiting room TV. And 84, Charing Cross Road was the perfect bit of comfort and home. It spoke to me of warm cups of tea and the smell of old books and the crinkle of letters, and that was the perfect balance to the reality which was all sterility and attempts to not worry. Then later that night, after the excitement of finding out a routine hernia surgery had become slightly more complex and then having Alex's oxygen levels drop dramatically as he came out of the anesthesia, after the boys had been kissed goodnight and tucked into temporary beds, I curled up in the hospital's recliner and found myself in need of a little cozy. And that's what 84, Charing Cross is good for. A little cozy. 

1 comment:

  1. Clearly there are many books that I need to read! All of them sound good. And "tiny" might not be the best nickname for that cutie.