I mentioned the other day that Courtney gifted me with the first two Sandman books for Christmas. Aside from a couple of children’s books (like young children, e.g. “The Wolves in the Walls,” “The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish,” etc.), Sandman was the only existing Neil Gaiman work I hadn’t read. I’d resisted for awhile because I’m not really a fan of comics or graphic novels. I mean, I’m not shitty enough to deride their merit, they were just not something I’d ever responded to in the way that I responded to novels.
I mentioned the thing about the graphic novels to Courtney ages ago, and said that I sort of wanted to try them again but wasn’t sure where to start, or a place from which to buy them that didn’t employ a staff of judgmental ass-nerds. She, knowing about my proclivity for All Works Gaiman, suggested Sandman, and I replied that there were so many of them, getting one seemed like a big commitment that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to keep. “Huh,” she said, and proceeded to never mention it again for months until the other day when she dropped a present off on my front porch.
These books. The thing I love about Neil Gaiman is that he takes these fantastical concepts and presents them in a framework of accepted mythology, and the result is all of this weird shit making complete sense to the point that it feels as though something you must have dreamed before. And Sandman is primarily about dreaming, so reading it is like remembering all of this stuff – this bizarre, imaginary, exaggerated stuff – all over again.
It took two days. Two days and I’d blasted through the first two Sandman books (“Preludes and Nocturnes” and “The Doll’s House”) and used the Amazon gift cards given to me by Graham’s mom and aunt to buy the next three. I couldn’t wait any longer than necessary to continue the story, so I’m doing a trial of Amazon Prime in order to receive the books by Monday. That’s only two days, but you guys. It. Feels. Like. FOREVER FROM NOW. Something Stephanie wrote years ago (about, ahem, a book “saga” that we shall not name for the sake of her integrity as a reader and a smart lady) came to mind: “it hurts to not be reading right now.”
So I have to wait until Monday, which is why I also bought Nick Offerman’s “Paddle Your Own Canoe” for my Kindle and rented “World’s End” and “Elysium” from the video store. Also I’m still not done with Iain Banks’ “The Crow Road” and might re-checkout Ron Currie Jr.’s “Everything Matters!”, which I liked a lot but then Christmas happened and I didn’t have time to finish it before my library loan ended. And I’m supposed to play ping pong tonight, but after walking six miles to brunch and back with Courtney (B&O’s ful medames = so good I could eat it as soup) I might just go grocery shopping, vacuum the house, and stay home.
And read. And wait.