Letter to the Ex; or ‘Stupid Book’

Personification is giving human qualities, feelings, action, or characteristics to inanimate (non-living) objects.

But is an object really inanimate if the person who gave it to you imbued it with themselves?

Hey Jerk-nut,

I found this stupid book you sent. Held it in my hands, turned it over. It made a weight in my chest, heavier than the specific shape against my fingers.

This damn book. It was from your collection. I don’t know why you sent it to me. I guess once upon a time you thought I might enjoy it.

You didn’t write inside the cover, the way you wrote on stories you bought specifically for me. It’s intact, from the smooth cover in halloween hues of black and orange, to the perfect reduction mark squiggled along the bottom edge of the pages.

I never did read this book. It isn’t really for reading, is it? Blurbs. Rants. Someone’s idea of comedy. Now I see that you’ve adopted this style, and that’s just so typical; that you would emulate and elevate a technique that was never meant to be good in the first place.

The author is a popular personality, otherwise I’m sure this book would never have become the solid object in my hands. I don’t like the guy. I don’t like his take on things. I never did find him humorous. He’s awfully concerned with his own opinions on people, places and things.

In this he reminds me of you.

No, I don’t like this book. I don’t like how it revived you in the room. I thought briefly of how I’d put an end to this thing that has your personality orbing from its pages: Smug. Self-satisfied. Contained.

I didn’t throw it off a cliff into an ocean, or set its pages on fire.
I didn’t rip great wads out of its soulless body, though I woud have been justified.

For this book is you.

I put it back in the box. It isn’t hurting anyone, not really. And while I continue to disagree with its attitude, while I am disappointed at the carelessness with which it dismisses people, I’d look awfully funny engaging an inanimate object in debate.

I also suspect that, like you, it wouldn’t hear me.

So I put it back in the box intact; still retaining all that ability to resurrect spirits and inflict a brief shadow of sorrow.

Because in my book, even absent, treacherous love inspires a semblance of homage.


11 thoughts on “Letter to the Ex; or ‘Stupid Book’

  1. Maybe putting the book in a box was a good way of putting things into perspective. It takes a lot of passion to throw something you don’t want off a cliff or set it on fire. Seems to me that putting it in a box was a calm, cool, and rather collected thing to do, minimizing the impact on your life.

  2. Hit submit before I was finished thinking out my comment (premature commentation?).

    I don’t know specifically which book this is, but I know the type. I have a few in my library that were given to me. I start to read them and then give up because the anger is too much. There’s almost no hope in that sort of book, even if I do agree with some of the politics or thoughts.

  3. Robin- Heh, I think you commented while I was still editing too, so it might have changed a little.

    That’s a very good point… you’re right. It’s giving the object more credence to put so much into destroying it.

    …and yep, exactly the type. The moments of wit are buried under an avalanche of ugly cynicism. There’s no truth or beauty inside. An elegantly packaged waste of words.

  4. It’s funny the objects that can “revive” long dead thoughts. For you it was a book, for me a plastic travel mug. An ex gave me the mug for Christmas many moons ago. While I had searched long and hard to find her the perfect gift, her search lasted moments. Our relationship was much like that, one-sided. When I found the mug again, in a box, I pitched it, after thinking dark thoughts.

  5. This was a great piece of writing, IMO. I liked it from both literary and psychological perspectives.

    You should provide a new dust jacket for that guy, and a better blurb, so the next reader waits until he’s in the remainder bin.

  6. Was the book sent before the ex was an ex? It sounds like after, which I find a little odd.
    You might not want to say but as an ex-bookseller I am curious about what the book was. I know it doesn’t really matter.

    When I was in that life and surrounded by many other avid readers, the odd thing was that we so rarely took each other’s reccomendations. We were determined to discuss books but almost as determined to read books the others had not.

  7. Ambivalent Amuirin almost alters an already adapted albeit antiquated answer analogous authentically to American-Native actions abolishing annoying or agonizing apparitions absent acts and attributes of antagonism and adopting an attitude of apathy.

    I applaud your auspicious ass

  8. Stevo- Isn’t it? that was poignantly put. the great thing about those experiences is how awesome it is to be done with them, huh.

    david- hi david, and tyvm. Someone definitely should… something garish, with clashing pin-stripes.

    aos- it was sent before the ex was an ex, maybe even before we were an ‘official’ item, it’s hard to remember. That’s funny about the avoiding eachother’s book recommends. I swear, music people do the same thing.

    Adrian, my alliterative archangel, after all is said and done, I allude to your expertise on this issue as I ‘aven’t got enough ‘a’ words to respond.


  9. “It’s funny the objects that can “revive” long dead thoughts. For you it was a book, for me a plastic travel mug”…

    …and for me it’s a pair of ticket stubs to the ’93 World Series. Fuckn’ Phillies.

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