I wandered into the Village Library. When I say Library it’s really a converted red telephone box. Just enough room to open the door and edge a few inches in before you are face to face with the books. It is well looked after and has a surprisingly large number of titles. But the book range reflects the village we live in. Clear indication of the type of literature residents read before they drop off the books at the Tardis. That’s the nickname our son gave to the ex telephone box- it’s from Dr Who for those scratching their heads.
So I perused the book covers. Jeffrey Archer, Catherine Cookson, Wilbur Smith, Le Carré, Agatha Christie. Books on farming, the military, Bridge Tactics, embroidery. You get the picture. But wait – one book stands out. Fifty Shades of Grey. Somebody’s brave – the village will be holding an investigation. I can see witch trials.
Then a sinking feeling. Bugger I brought that one. I do have a reasonable excuse. In the weeks after my partner died I was not really on this planet. People kept telling me to clear the house . Be organised, get on with stuff, don’t live in a mausoleum. So I quickly (probably too quickly) started sorting out many of her belongings. Clothes went to the Hospice charity. Books to the Village Library.
I really regret rushing the process. I should have done it when I was ready not when others thought it was the right time. Potentially really important memories might have been lost in the rush. I missed the chance of involving our son in the process (when he was ready of course). I’m sure the early purge did me no good at all. If anything it delayed the grieving process. It certainly didn’t help my depression. Just destabilised me further.
So yes back to Tardis. One of the books found in the house was Fifty Shades. She bought it I think for a train journey from the vast array (not) of books available at the station. I remember my partner saying it was tacky rubbish and she was going to send it out as a joke present. Sadly she never got the time to do that. So it was one of about 20 books that found its way to the library.
I can see the look on the faces of some of the village Bridge Club society. I remember the complaints the Utility Company received when they used ‘dirty’ sandbags to anchor down some of its road work signs on our Main Street. It’s stupid but I was genuinely embarrassed that I had dropped that book off. What are people thinking of me. Am I getting the dreaded tut tutting. He should know better, I thought he was a respectable person.
Should I quickly put the book into my pocket and destroy the evidence. I could even bury it on one of our dog walks – forever hidden in the woods, amongst hundreds of white flowers.
In the end I left it. You should never destroy books. Visions of that scene of book burning in the third Indiana Jones movie flooded my mind. It also really helped finding another dodgy book in the Library. Shockingly a Mills and Boon title.
But hang on a minute.
Now I’m panicking even more. My mum would read M&B books, she had a load of them. I cleared her house out. Surely not. Without thinking did I also add this book to the Library as well. Oh the shame. Grief does crazy things to you….