I love to read.
But I guess that’s an understatement. I’m one of those people who can’t function without reading the newspaper every day. One of the most devastating things that happened to me in college was when they took the College Newspaper Program out of the residence halls and into the dining halls only. I had a dining plan that only allowed me to visit the dining halls once in a while and my roommate Carolyn had an unlimited dining hall pass. She always made sure to give me my New York Times, USA Today, and The Daily Star…exactly in that order. At my father’s restaurant, if no one has purchased the paper yet, I will personally march down to the IGA and buy the Times Herald Record and the Sullivan County Democrat.
It sounds neurotic as hell but I just love knowing what’s going in the world. It didn’t stop at newspapers. You should have seen me when I was little. Do you remember those days in elementary school when the teachers handed out the Scholastic book order forms? That was almost as good as Christmas to me. Whenever there was a family vacation, I never bothered to pack my clothes, I went straight for the books. I found a little plastic crate and I would stuff as many books as I could fit in it.
It’s no secret why I ended up graduating with two degrees in political science and philosophy.
Anyway- one of the traditions in the Aiello-Kavarnos clan is that every New Year’s Eve, we watch The Twilight Zone marathon on SciFi…errr Syfy. <—-that is the stupidest name change in the history of cable TV.
When I was little, I resisted participating in the tradition. I hated watching anything black and white and I begged my mom to change the channel. She wouldn’t budge- we would watch the Twilight Zone marathon until…
1. We passed out in front of the TV
2. January 2nd rolled around.
I didn’t start paying attention to The Twilight Zone until New Year’s Day 1995. I was in the second grade and I just received my first pair of glasses. I was one of those kids who thought that wearing glasses was AWESOME and I was so excited because they were pink! Since I hated watching The Twilight Zone marathon, I would just sit in the family room and read a book while my mom watched it.
Then- the episode that would scare me to death came on. Time Enough At Last. The episode is highly regarded amongst television critics as one of the best Twilight Zone episodes. It stars Burgess Meredith as Henry Bemis- a man who is obsessed with reading. It starts to interfere with his job performance and his relationship with his wife. All of a sudden, there’s an H-bomb explosion and Henry is the only survivor. He almost commits suicide but then discovers that he can find refuge at the Public Library and read to his heart’s content! He starts organizing the books in the order in which he’ll read them for the next couple of months and then the unthinkable happens. He trips and his glasses shatter. He is blind without them and now he is out of a reason to live.
That was my worst nightmare. I never wanted that to happen to me. Overnight- I had a new appreciation for The Twilight Zone.