Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Reading Spot

Thinking of my reading spot. The spot I sit in now. The burgundy pillow pushed up against the arm of the old tan couch. My shoulder bone shelved against one of four pillow points, curled like withered leaves in winter.

There's a spit-up stain beneath me and I remember how I stood hunched over a toothbrush and clump of baking soda, sprayed cleansers, sighed at the distorted rings of forever, as they blackened like mildew into the folds.

I read here. I write. I watch television and movies. Tyler stands at the edge of the kitchen counter, waiting for risotto to plump. Buttered onions seer my vision. I sink into the heat of our summers. I listen to the clang of the metal heater, the croak of the wobbly kitchen table as my son slams his plastic car against its limping wooden leg.

There are days I push forward, scoot my bottom to the crack of the cushions, close my eyes and wish for a few moments of quiet, before a sticky hand is at my thigh, a knee at my knee, my boy breathing through his stuffed-up nose with a book in his hands.

Because this is the reading spot. This is years of a butt-marked dip in the catalog couch, with its velcroed cushions and the lump and sag of never-forgetting. This is the spot where the laptop fidgets against my thighs, where the overhead light cuts at the sharp edge of books from the Brooklyn Public Library, the Strand, Book Court, and the rug of my old bedroom.

This is where, he knows, we read.

In the light of the moon a little egg lay on a leaf. And a tiny finger goes from one white round circle to the other. From egg to moon. Two gaps amongst splotches of wet-paint color.

Together we sink deeper. We carve our places in the space we make for words.

You have a reading spot, too, I bet.


  1. Oh, how lovely. I still have my reading spot, but now it's out on the porch. The kids are bigger than I am now ... and sometimes they read to me :)

  2. This is beautiful, Melissa. I can picture your reading spot (and oh, I remember the sticky hands and the requests to read). Of course I have a reading spot. Actually two. The first is on the living room sofa, with a good strong light. It's a quiet, uncluttered room because for the most part, no one uses it. The second is upstairs in our bedroom, on my grandmother's rocker (which is way more comfortable than it sounds).

  3. Yes. It is beautiful Melissa. I identify with the sticky hands and I am just beginning that same situation with me granddaughter. reading time and a reading spot are such important spaces in our time - precious, too. And ... beautifully written. Thanks for sharing. I am just back from holiday and catching up on blog posts.