Posts Tagged ‘‘Should I buy a book at a good will store?’’

Smell No Evil?

March 11, 2012

I had this strange thing happen to me this week, and it may all be in my head, but here’s the story: I went to a Goodwill store on Wednesday. They had lots of used books – for a buck or two – and two books caught my eye. One was an old favorite of mine – I must have read it 30 years ago, The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck, MD, and the other was the sequel to that book, People of the Lie – The Hope for Healing Human Evil which, maybe I’d hadn’t read. I bought them both.

I started reading People of the Lie the next day, but noticed it had a strange, musty and dusty smell. While I was reading I rubbed the corner of my eye with the tip of my finger and suddenly my eye started itching profusely and the itch wouldn’t go away. I read the book in bed before going to sleep that night, but was awoken in the middle of the night with my eye itching again, along with a major nose itch, you know, the hard-rubbing, deep-massage-to-assuage kind of nose itch. I noticed the book on the bedside and thought of the weird smell (which I thought I was still smelling).

Well, this is going to gross you out (sorry!), but the next thing, I get this thought (yes, at 3 AM): What if that book had come from some HOARDERS – what if it had been sitting in a pile, amidst a ceiling-high pile, in a filthy house, for years, perhaps, and it was contaminated with – God knows what. Mold spores! – for starters.

When I got up the next morning, I swear, I had a full-fledged allergy attack – sneezing like crazy and then my lungs started burning. I kept thinking about those HOARDERS who maybe died or something, or had an intervention through their family who donated their shit to this thrift store (isn’t that what the families do?). I don’t know whether my lung, nose, and eye issues might actually have been brought on by the thought of the whole thing, or what … but I am so grossed out!!!

In this book Dr. Peck (a psychiatrist) tries to define ‘human evil’- how you might (if you’re lucky, and preferably professionally trained in the field of psychology) recognize an ‘evil’ person. He talks about ‘malignant narcissism’ which, well, is decidedly more interesting to read about than, say, How to Clean Everything (which was another book for sale at the thrift store). – Well anyway, at this juncture I think I know how to recognize an evil book!

Whatever. I just can’t get the image of the whole ‘HOARDER’ mess out of my mind, but I wouldn’t mind finishing the book, I’m finding it totally fascinating and well-written!

I wore a sweatshirt with a hood this morning, clumping the hood into a wad and shoving it up against my nose, to read the book over my morning coffee. My husband entered the kitchen and chuckled at me – “Why don’t you throw that book away and get it at the library?”

He had a point. The sweatshirt covered my nose so well that I was mostly breathing through my mouth. I did a lung check. Yep, they still hurt a little. I was still sneezing and couldn’t avoid the … dust? Smell? H&#$%ERS?

I went to the library. YES! They had People of the Lie – uh… crap! It’s checked out!

I’m on page 173.

Here’s a picture of the book:

Looks innocent enough, eh? Yeah.

Let me know and you can have the book. It’s riveting. If you’re interested in the study of evil. Sort of hits you right in the face (and beyond).

Maybe just don’t breathe while you’re reading it.

I read 30 more pages in the book today. And my lungs kinda hurt. I’m honestly worried that I’ve contracted some kind of lung fungus.

Whatdoyathink? Should my appointment be with a lung specialist or a psychiatrist?