Sunday, August 29, 2010

the incident report

there are moments when time dilates like the pupil of an eye, to let everything in

last summer I read one of those books that makes you seek out an audience because what you find on the pages is so good, you are compelled to share it. today I partially re-read it and am happy to report, incidentally, that I loved it just as much the second time around.

the incident report by martha baillie

parts of this book are ferociously funny, parts are melo-dramatic,parts cause you to pause and parts make you choke up a little. perfection.

the whole is comprised of 144 incident reports, compiled by Miriam Gordon, thirty-five years old, employee of the Public Libraries of Toronto.

incident report 66

a patron came to the reference desk at 3:04 this afternoon to report that a man was standing in the street in front of the library directing traffic with a tea bag

Interjections by Miriam's co-workers and a look into the private life of Miriam and her lover, 28 year old Slovenian cab driver Janko Prijatelj round out this slice of Canadiana so succinctly I hesitate to believe it is only fiction. I want to know Miriam and become friends. Her story pulls me in, first because she makes me laugh out loud, then, later, because I feel almost like I have stumbled, accidentally, across her diary and I cannot make myself stop reading it.

incident report 76

the time was 11:35 pm. janko's full weight descended upon me, burying my belly, and my breathing slipped inside his. in the spreading sweetness my name fell from his mouth

some of the incidents reported are only a few sentences long, while others require a few pages. none are dull. all are strikingly beautiful in and of themselves, evoke a wealth of feeling. the incident report both fulfills and satisfies.

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