What am I talking about?
Well, you know that moment when you first read a book and you just completely lose yourself in it? You know that feeling you get when you think of that book long after you closed the last page, and you remember exactly when and where you read that book?
I remember reading John Marsden's 'Tomorrow' series when I was a young teenager, and I remember reading the series for the second time and thinking "fuck, I wish I could read this part again for the first time", as there's nothing quite like not knowing, and then knowing, and the pleasure of feeling that for the first time.
More recently, earlier this year, in fact, I read a book and I can tell you where I was when I read it, and while the author may not have any association at all between the book and the place, those two will always share an intimate relationship as the place I first read that book.
Dorothy Porter's 'The Monkey's Mask'. I was on a plane going from Perth to Melbourne. I first heard about it last year at uni, it came up in my creative writing class and we read the first probably half dozen poems from the book. I'd been keeping an eye out for it when I went book shopping. It was quite the coincidence that I'd find it in a book store at the Perth domestic airport.
So I bought it and I started reading it in the terminal, waiting for the flight. I got through most of it on the plane, and I finished it in the hotel that night. That flight to Melbourne was running on Dorothy Porter time. That time was all about her words, her poetry, her made-world.
And now, as I attempt to write a verse novel of my own, I find the sheer possibility of it all rather comforting, that, maybe, with some dedicated hard work, maybe a bit of talent, a bit of luck, maybe someone will see my book in an airport bookstore and read it on the plane, and forever associate my words with that flight...