Monday, December 27, 2010


The best place for a bookmark is not quite three-quarters of the way into the volume. More than half. Not quite three-quarters.

A bookmark placed in the very beginning, say in the first 30 or 40 pages of a 300 page book, looks pathetic. It’s pitiable. Like a man with giant thumbs trying to defuse a time bomb. Like in junior high when you and the rest of the class silently groaned because the teacher chose that one kid to read from the text out loud – the kid who could barely read, stumbled over every other word, mispronounced half of them and just plowed on if he wasn’t corrected. Said "sub-tully" when he read "subtly." If you sit on a bench with your volume resting next to you and your bookmark is placed in such a manner, and an attractive woman who may or may not be hunting for a place to sit down and a promising man to sit next to walks by; she will see this limp, flaccid placement of your bookmark and think, "Pitiful! Men can never commit."

If it is maybe a bit further in, maybe halfway or more between the beginning and midway point of your book, then this is not bad. It is not as good as not quite three-quarters of the way through, but not as bad as just the very beginning. The same hungry woman may see this book next to you on the bench and think, "Hmm, effort. Potential."

To put the bookmark halfway into the book, particularly if it’s exactly halfway through the book, is just stupid. It’s worse than having it in the very beginning. It doesn’t look real. Who reads to exactly halfway through a book and just takes a break? The sultry minx won’t even bother to glance at you or to pause in her progress. She’ll think, "Oh, he just put that there," and stomp on for more genuine prospects.

Having it at the three-quarters point or beyond is not very good either. It’s not as bad as halfway through or just in the beginning, but it is still not optimal. If you are so close to the end, why not keep reading until you’re done? Are you busy? You’re just sitting on a park bench. Are you waiting for instructions from some kind of emergency management government organization? Is an asteroid the size of Australia bearing down upon North America, and is your expertise – which must be ready to be conveyed at a moment’s notice – all that stands between a world that’s made of somewhere around 3-quarters water to one that is nothing but water? The woman who sees this will think you are an apathetic, self-serving lover. You would probably not perform cunnilingus if urged in even the most seductive manner.

But not quite three-quarters of the way through is just right. A perfect spot. You may as well just tell the passing goddess to sit down and show you where she would most enjoy your hands. You are not quite close to the end, and so you have more to enjoy. But you have gone well beyond the halfway point and have shown obvious commitment to prod on until the very last page. You have things going on in your life. You are active and involved with the world. You are comfortable with the size of your penis and she will be as well. You accept your mortality and perhaps claim enough of a healthy fear of death to boast sanity, but not so much that you will let it stop you from relaxing idly on a park bench where you could be mugged or killed or crushed by a huge asteroid. And sure, you’ve got a book with you in plain view that you’re not reading. So? What business is it of anyone else’s? You’re sniffing the air, enjoying the relatively quiet sounds of traffic beyond the park’s borders. Maybe you fed some fucking pigeons or something. You are not quite three-quarters of the way through and you love life. She will sit down and ask you your name.

1 comment:

C. Margery Kempe said...

So much depends on
a red bookmark...