Thursday, 21 May 2015

Magical Thinking

And now I'll take time out from excerpting to tell you about my own sort of magical experience.

When I went to the Cellar bookshop in Chicago, I bought just one book; A Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion and I really, really wanted to read it after thumbing through it although I had seen it so many times in KL without it raising a single twitch of desire in me. I guess when it's time to read a book, it starts to call to you. Yes, I believe that books have a spirit.

Anyway, after Cellar, Alberto and I went back to the hotel to pick Alecksei, the Russian member of our team, up and from there to Buddy Guy's Legends bar to enjoy another drink and a little music. By the time I got back to the hotel it was late. And I was tired and tipsy on two wines but still, I tried to read some more Magical Thinking. Naturally I didn't succeed. I fell into an asleep, aware that I hadn't packed and we were due to check out of the hotel the next morning to head to San Francisco, our last stop on this roller coaster ride.

But what do you know? I left my book on my bed in the hotel room. This made me very very sad. I would have ditched the book I was reading at that time to read this one.

I had vague ideas of buying the book on Kindle or getting another copy when I got back to KL but I didn't do anything about it.

Then someone I had met in New York, whom I had given a present from Malaysia to emailed me. He was sorting through his sister's books (the two of them had been very close and she had died only six months ago after a one-year struggle with cancer) and he found a Joan Didion among them. He remembered that I liked the author (we had exchanged a few emails when he wrote to thank me for the present) and would I like it.

I asked which book it was.

He said: "A Year of Magical Thinking."

And I was like: "What? This is incredible."

And proceeded to tell him the story. That the book should find its way back to in this, it can't be a coincidence.

And the name. I mean, come on, the name.

There is magic out there. Now if I can just squeeze out enough of it to find these two darlings (pups) a home of their own.

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