Karmic Books

During my early childhood, I didn’t know what a television was, and by the age of three, I was reading. My proud parents were fondly indulgent while sipping their martinis, the hi-fi playing softly in the background, I laying on my stomach on the floor; bunny-slippered feet crossed at the ankles, phonetically babbling out long incomprehensible words from the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Ah! But my older sister had a treasure trove of comic books! Dramatically draping herself over an armchair, she buried her nose deep in the colorful pages, dreamily blowing gigantic pink bubbles with a substantial wad of Bazooka Joe.  Once I discovered the dazzling contents of the comics, I turned fickle, throwing over the boring old Britannica for my irresistible new passion. I banished the encyclopedia to its lonely corner of the bookcase where it lay moldering until I was compelled to open it again in another time and a completely different country to write an essay about something.

I was particularly fond of Little Lulu. I had a headful of stubborn cowlicks that sprang from my scalp in all directions, but my parents encouraged me in my delusion that I had “very pretty curly hair.” It appears in my family photos, however, that my “very pretty curly hair” frequently fell victim to a pair of kitchen scissors and precisely because I couldn’t have them, I came to envy the two swirly curls on the top of Little Lulu’s oversized head. She remained my constant, beloved comic book companion until years later, when, as I lay my cowlicks on the ironing board in the basement to iron them flat,  she karmically (but not comically) abandoned me as swiftly and dispassionately as I had once abandoned my beloved Britannica.

My visiting godfather and I appear to be spending quality time together in Jamaica. As I read to him from this comic book, I’m too engrossed in the gripping story to notice that my droning has rendered the poor man drooling and unconscious.  Maybe it was simply that he had the habit of falling asleep every time he sat down, or just maybe he was secretly fond of comic books himself and was dreaming of Wonder Woman…

3 comments on “Karmic Books”

  1. Well, I really enjoyed this one. Genius again and I love the last paragraph!

  2. Susan. The picture is worth one thousand words. Love it.

  3. I love the way you write! Apparently reading the encyclopedia didn’t hurt! And, of course, I now also know where you got your quick and clever wit. Little Lulu… who knew?

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