Out and about today I purchased a few books at a favorite used bookstores including a book of poems by Richard Brautigan (Loading Mercury With A Pitchfork). The title made me think of those “it’s amazing we lived this long” chain emails frequently passed around between people my age. Detailing all the activities we participated in without the benefit of child-proofing or parental supervision, the list reminds me me of old fogies sitting around complaining about how we’ll never see the good old days again while too lazy to do much beyond flipping between the 955+ channels on their satellite TV receiver. One item I don’t remember on the list was the handling of mercury. I seem to recall recent news stories detailing efforts to limit access to an element we unknowingly played with nothing more than curiosity back in the day. I wonder how much of my current behavior I can blame on mercury and other hazardous materials I exposed myself to as a kid?
Of the other books, three were by Jack Kerouac(The Dharma Bums, Big Sur, Pomes All Sizes), “Less Than Zero” by Bret Easton Ellis(enjoyed the movie many years ago) and “The Rolling Stone Book of the Beats”.