This is kind of morbid, but my favorite poetry has always been dark. Usually about death or lost love. A couple of my tops include T.S. Eliot’s “The Hollow Men,” Emily Dickinson’s “Because I could not stop for death,” and Edgar Allan Poe’s “Annabel Lee.”So of course when I saw the anthology Jeffrey Eugenides put together at Barnes and Nobles down in Los Angeles several years back, I fixated on it. It’s an anthology of famous love stories, but the title is “My Mistress’s Sparrow is Dead.” Leave it to me to find probably the only book out there all about love that has the word “death” in the title. For some reason it became a dream of mine to have a boyfriend give that book to me.
When Michael and I first started dating, I hinted at this book I wanted. I didn’t want to make it too easy for him so I only gave him a couple of vague hints: The title has five words, it’s a compilation of love stories, and Anton Chekhov was one of the authors. You’d be surprised at how many books out there fit those criteria. Michael knows because he went and created a spreadsheet and narrowed down the possibilities to three. I was very impressed.
I wasn’t going to get anything originally, but then I found the book in the Anthology section. And Jeffrey was moving through the book signing line faster than you can say “Hot butter.” I couldn’t pass the opportunity up.I got Jeffrey to sign on the “From:” line. To me. You know, because Jeffrey’s my other boyfriend.
I gleefully showed Michael the book and the signature on our way out for date night at Wayfare Tavern and smugly said that I had to get it because he didn’t get it for me. Then he told me he had bought the hardbound, limited edition version and was waiting for a special occasion to give it to me.
Sweet dreams chickadees!