Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The world under my daddy's desk

when i was a little girl, i wanted to be lots of things when i grew up. and when i grew up, i COULD do lots of things. and now i realize that my dad--or at least his desk--had a lot to do with it.

i remember being in the second grade and being interested in archaeology. i would sneak into my parents' bedroom and open the box of books under my father's desk. they were boxes we weren't allowed to touch, because in them were very expensive books my dad set an amount aside from his monthly salary and paid a lay-away plan for. there was this 5-book series that i particularly liked--the modern book of knowledge. there was a volume on astronomy, the wildlife, the oceans, biology, and archaeology. come to think of it, i also was interested in astronomy around that time, and of all the kids in my first grade class, i could draw the best solar system, because of my first-rate reference book.

it seemed that my dad was keeping the books away till my siblings and i were older, and he was saving up to buy a bookcase with glass doors where he could lock them in. but at one point he must have decided it was pointless to keep the books in boxes when my sister and i had almost worn out the boxes in our secret reading sessions under his desk, and so one day he took the books out of the boxes and let us read them, even if he believed we were still too young for them. and so i grew up never being intimidated by huge amounts of text to a page, because at a very young age i was already enjoying reading encyclopediae.

our dad never bought us dr. seuss books and bought very few picture books, and so for my amusement, i read about the stories about the eruption of mt. vesuvius at pompeii, the story of the boy king tutankhamen and ancient egypt, the histories of the lost civilizations of alexandria, mesopotamia, maya, and the lives of real indiana jones characters like howard carter. pretty soon i was reading beyond ancient and lost civilizations, and was reading the biographies of kings and their mistresses, the various saints and martyrs, and the colorful lives of artists through time like Hieronymous Bosch, Michaelangelo, Da Vinci, Cezanne, and Van Gogh.

it's the rain. i remember those childhood days. and the vivid smells-- of the rain, of the pages of the books, of the carton boxes mingling with the faint musty wood of my dad's desk.


Blogger marie said...

hi may, this comment has completely nothing to do with your entry. i was just thinking that, last year, your poem "mortality (for yasmin)" was what gave me an indication that ideasoup is the may from friendster. i don't know if you remember. but i said that ideasoup wrote very much like may from friendster. something to do with ESP and/or (online) perception of a different kind. talk to you later! have to get ready for work :(

July 05, 2005 7:46 PM  
Blogger may said...

this space for comments reserved for remarks relevant to my blog post only. in the future, for your reference, please direct all non-sequitur comments to my yahoo mail inbox, ok? hahahaha.

July 05, 2005 11:17 PM  
Blogger marie said...

may, i just saw this! BWAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAHAAHA! shut up! :P

July 06, 2005 3:01 AM  
Blogger may said...

no, YOU shut up!!!! hwahahahaha.

July 06, 2005 9:27 AM  

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