Let Me Tell You A Story

In my case it's the other way around.  I don't want you to read me a bedtime story, it's I who wants to read one to you. 

This is something I have done off and on over the years, since I was a teenager.  The inspiration for it goes back to my mom, of course, who used to read to my brother and I before we went to sleep.  I have this vague memory of her reading Gulliver's Travels to us, although I don't remember the stories at all.  What I remember more was her reading her old Trixie Beldon novels to us.  She had a big collection of old hardcover books from when she grew up.  I think I was in grades four and five when she did this.

Later on mom had to work at night, and I was at home alone with my younger brother.  What I chose to read to him instead were novels by an author I found so cool, Clive Cussler.  I'm sure most of you will recognize his name.  I got into Mr. Cussler's work after reading one of his first novels, written years and years ago now, called Raise the Titanic.  This was written before the Titanic had been rediscovered, and there was still all of the aura and mystery around the sunken liner.  After reading that book I discovered more of his novels, and really enjoyed his work.  Since I enjoyed them so much I figured my brother would, too, and off I read.

Several years later I found myself once again in a position to read out loud.  A former girlfriend of mine suffered a severe nervous breakdown and depression, which was made worse by her mild autism.  She was admitted to the local psychiatric hospital for about a year, and sometimes when I would visit her she would be completely catatonic.  I could only converse so much, so I started bringing whatever novel I was reading along with me.  One of those novels was "A Garden of Herbs," by Katherine Cookson, a book a randomly picked out at my local library, and enjoyed reading very much.  Some days before I left the hospital, several patients on the ward had gathered around the two of us to listen as well.

Finally, after my wife and I married (we are now divorced) I would sometimes read a book to her, too.  She was blind, and not every piece of literature out there gets transcribed to Braille or put onto audio tape yet.  We shared some good times, reading really good books together, and enjoying the wit and irony portrayed in them.  When she was expecting, I also read our prenatal books out loud, which often got me enthused about becoming a daddy!

I've been on my own for three-and-a-half years now.  Aside from reading occasionally to my six-year-old daughter, who doesn't have a lot of patience for books yet, I haven't had the opportunity to read to anyone.  One of my friend's first language is Mandarin, and I have offered to help tutor her teenage daughter with her English, but I wonder if I'm not just using that as excuse to read to someone again?

Oh, yeah.  This isn't really reading . . . but . . .  A couple times in my life, through periods of single-dom, I've partaken of telephone introduction services.  And sometimes, as people may know, the conversation can turn a little hot'n'heavy after a while, when two people click.  It was in a few such situations that I became a good and reliable provider of these off-the-cuff tales as well, leaving my female listeners satisfied and gasping in my wake.  I know that sounds like I'm boasting, and I guess I am.  Story-telling, in whatever form, seems to be a natural for me.  When you got it, flaunt it.

So, would anyone like me to read them a bed-time story?

UnderEli UnderEli
46-50, M
Aug 12, 2010