I would liked to have started this post with a quote; something to give a glimpse of how amazing The Kite Runner was. I just finished it tonight. On the cover it boasts "Powerful... Haunting". I didn't understand what that meant until I turned the final page. I surmise that you won't either until you read it yourself. The book will live in my mind for years to come, often I find my mind drifting back to it.
In the last two weeks I've finished two books. Not a record pace by any means, but I feel accomplished as I have plenty of other commitments. The thing is, I don't want to stop! I remember when I was just a boy and my parents had canceled the cable. I took to reading to quell the boredom and a new world was opened to me! I feels like I read so many books, pouring over all forms of literature. Now I feel like I could get back on that track as I almost never watch the television. Something about this atmosphere; I have an lack of desire to watch cable. I'd much rather watch a movie if I wanted visual entertainment, and I get my news from the paper.
The book I finished before The Kite Runner was J.R.R. Tolkien's newest release Children of Hurin. A mere 250 pages, this book flies by; especially after you get past the first few chapters of back story and lineage. I'm not going to say much about it, but know that Tolkien (the senior) created so many stories, lineages, notes, etc. that his son could (and did) spend the last 30 years pouring over the history of middle earth. One final book is the result of Christopher Tolkien's efforts. It is just as good as any other Tolkien literature and worth the whole day it would take to read it.
I think the next book I may attempt is Siddhartha. I have it staring at me right now, and I'm tempted by it, though I don't know what it's about. I've just heard from many others that it is worth the time. I guess I'll get on that!
Changing topics really quickly, I wanted to briefly touch on discrimination. I was sitting at a cafe on the Ave the other day. I hadn't bought anything because I was waiting for a friend. I was there for a good hour taking up a table, reading the Kite Runner. There were some men sitting behind me, 2 playing chess, 2 others talking and playing guitar. I was in awe of their agile fingers and soulful melodies. It was then, as I watch in a blissful surrender to their music, that I witnessed a fairly blatant discriminatory act.
One of the shops workers, possibly the owner (I've seen him there a lot), walks to the table of men. The worker is a tiny man, not even 5'5" and most likely the weight of a small child. But despite his size, he confronted the 4 men and told them that if they wanted to stay in the coffee shop they would have to buy something. The two men playing chess had bought something already, but the tiny repeated his statement and told them if they did not buy something they would have to leave.
In a deep and commanding voice, the words "But of course, but of course" bounded from the man playing guitar, prematurely ending the small man's stammering commands. The guitar player set down his instrument and made his way to purchase something.
I sat there in discomfort and disbelief. They had been there only as long as I had, and, though I frequent that coffee shop a great deal, perhaps so do they. I felt so terribly that I immediately got in line behind the guitar playing man and bought myself something, regardless of my lack of hunger.
Maybe things were different then how I saw them, maybe there were factors I didn't understand, but the moral of this tale is that privilege exists and being aware of it is important.
I'm going to bed now, it's almost 1:00.
P.S.The Decemberists are amazing.
P.S.S. Being the RA on Duty stinks... I have to go to the other tower right now to tell somebody to turn down their bass.