Yesterday morning at 7:43, my girlfriend’s brother’s fiancée arrived at mine & my girlfriend’s apartment to drive the two of us the roughly hour and a half drive (depending on traffic) from Minneapolis to my girlfriend’s brother’s apartment in Rochester (the Northern part, I’m told). At 7:39, when my girlfriend received a text message from her brother’s fiancée (which read “I am here!!”), I made the always-last-minute decision of which books to bring along. Quickly, I selected Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle (shockingly, my first Vonnegut), which I was about 100 pages shy of finishing, and Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time, which a number of friend-colleagues and I had decided to get together and talk about in January, not least of which so that we could all honestly claim to have read Being and Time while simultaneously having established a quorum to prove it. Anyway, I normally take at least three or four books with me on any trip, regardless of the length. And yet, choosing only a novel I had nearly finished and a book I most decidedly did not actually want to read in any literal eyes-looking-at-the-page sense did not seem in the least bit strange to me. Perhaps I was just more tired than usual. It was early, after all. We were to stay in Chatfield until Thursday.
By the time we arrived at the parking lot of my girlfriend’s brother’s apartment complex in the Northern part of Rochester, I had read all but twenty pages of Cat’s Cradle. My girlfriend’s brother wasn’t there—he was at the gym?—but my girlfriend’s mother was, waiting in her car (“I just got here,” she said). We transferred our belongings into my girlfriend’s mother’s car. We stopped at the mall on our way to Chatfield. I bought a coffee inside of a Barnes & Nobel—and yet, for some reason, it did not occur to me to buy another book, to even look at books.
I finished Cat’s Cradle last night a little after 10 under the covers of a child-size bed, using my iPhone as a flashlight. It was good. Great, even. But here I am now: with one book, alone in a house of e-reader readers. My unconscious is clearly out of line. Merry Heideggermas.