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  • Writer's pictureerikaraskin

reading by 'gaslight'

Close’s debut event will be at Over-the-Moon Bookstore in Crozet –the corner building with the round blue sign– so even if I’m a basket-case, the setting will be beautiful. (photo by

So Keith came home from the hospital, put down his computer bag in the kitchen where I was cooking, and announced that we should start practicing the reading for my book party.

What?” (Generally I have to chase him around the house to listen to my writings.) My heart began pounding, the potato masher stopped mid-mash.

“If it were me,” he said in that calm medical-educator voice that generally inspires a transient surge of violence. “I would start practicing.”

“The party isn’t for five days!” I sputtered.

The established division of worry in our relationship is that I do and he doesn’t. What was going on? Seriously, I almost passed out.

To be fair, he had no idea I’ve been promising myself that I needn’t begin obsessing about the reading until Friday evening around the time Brian Williams comes on. I swore there’d be no angst about delivery, or remembering people’s names, or having too few/ too many attendees until then.

What the hell?

Also, Keith’s strange behavior followed a day of him continually switching channels between a show about taxi driving in Mumbai and one about gatekeepers for cruise ships dealing with frantic passengers whose passports didn’t make it into their carry-ons. It was like mainlining caffeine.

Suddenly I began to think of Charles Boyer in Gaslight. How he methodically drove poor Ingrid Bergman around the bend.


Come anyway.


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