Friday, February 15, 2008

The Reformation By Diarmid McCullough, Published By Penguin

I'm obsessed!

With this book!

When I was down in DC for MAL, waiting for a table at Afterwords, I came across it browsing through KramerBooks (no relation).

"Hmm," I thought, "This looks interesting."

And about the time my father fell and broke his hip, I suddenly had an overwhelming urge to go out and get and read The Reformation by Diarmid McCullough, published by Penguin. I checked the bookstore in Doylestown. No luck. I trekked down to Farley's Bookstore in New Hope. Nada. So luckily I found it on amazon.com for only $12.93 or something and put in my order.

Since then, I have been signing into "Track My Purchase" on amazon.com again and again and again, charting the progress that The Reformation by Diarmid McCullough, published by Penguin, is making in getting to me.

It started off in Allentown, and then inexplicably went to Philadelphia. When I checked before I left the house this morning, it had left Philadelphia.

Yay!

But then disaster struck!

When I got home tonight, I found that this morning, it had showed up at New Hope, PA, despite the estimated 2/19 arrival date. So far, so good, right?

But then, at New Hope, PA, The Reformation by Diarmid McCullough, published by Penguin, was declared to be undeliverable!!!

What the hell?

Since when?

Thereupon, I recognized my error.

I had thought that it was coming to me via UPS or some such carrier. So I gave my street address. But no. It's coming to me just the way every blessed order I've ever received from amazon.com is coming to me, at the P.O. Box down in Point Pleasant that my family has used since 1949.

Oh hell.

And what's worse, even though there exists no earthly reason why the United States Postal Service can't deliver The Reformation by Diarmid McCullough, published by Penguin to me at my street address (indeed, every once in a while actual mailed letters show up in the mailbox at the end of the driveway for us, delivered by the United States Postal Service, The Reformation by Diarmid McCullough, published by Penguin, was returned to sender!!!

So pox upon the United States Postal Service.

So this all lead me to question, what the hell is this about? Why am I obsessing about The Reformation by Diarmid McCullough, published by Penguin?

Well, duh.

It is, in fact, not about The Reformation by Diarmid McCullough, published by Penguin.

When I found the book on amazon.com, certain images came into my head. Such as me, quietly reading The Reformation by Diarmid McCullough, published by Penguin, sitting in my father's hospital room while he slept. Or me, reading The Reformation by Diarmid McCullough, published by Penguin, curled in one of the comfier chairs at some Starbucks. Or me, reading The Reformation by Diarmid McCullough, published by Penguin, here at home, with a nice fire going in the woodstove.

You get it?

It's not about The Reformation by Diarmid McCullough, published by Penguin. It's about me in the weeks ahead carving out some fraction of my day that has nothing to do with Ho(t)me(n) Depot or hospitals or cancer or powers-of-attorney or Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders or how many days to my next paycheck or colonoscopies or hospice care or remembering to call my brother in Florida to give him the news.

Rather, I'll be able to leave all of that behind and just reacquaint myself with Zwingli and Luther and Erasmus (love him!) and Elizabeth I and Hooker and Calvin and the Counter Reformation and the Council of Trent.

It's about taking time for me. And damn, do I need that. Stepping back six hundred years or so and getting out of this maelstrom.

It's a good plan, and it would have worked.

But it's been foiled by the United States Postal Service.

Thanks United States Postal Service! Really needed that right now! If I slip up and send my father to The Wrong Nursing Home, I hope you'll be able to sleep at night!

Sonsabitches.

Hopefully tomorrow, I'll get an email from amazon.com asking for a better address to send it to. And hopefully I won't have to pay for shipping all over again.

Because I really Really REALLY need to get my hands on The Reformation by Diarmid McCullough, published by Penguin.

2 comments:

pigvictim said...

I once had two books mysteriously take a wrong turn at the last moment, only to disappear in the bowels of the US Postal "Service," and never to be expelled by them. Amazon.com has somewhere hidden in its website an address that you can actually email them (as I recall I had to really hunt for it). But once I emailed them, they promptly sent out a second order via UPS, with apologies and good cheer. Good luck. I hope you like the book.

kiturgy said...

Y'know, with tht reading list, you can just read for Holy Orders. Get signed up for the GOE's (General Ordination Exams) next January....well, just a thought.