Page 45, My Love

Page 45, Line 1

Page 45, Line 1

I am reading The Bloggess. I love and hate the Bloggess for the same reason: she is hilarious. Not only is she hilarious but has the ability to write in a way that you feel she is writing just for you.


Today the Bloggess says that if you go to page 45 of the book closest to you, the first sentence on that page describes your love life.

This sounds like a glorious way to waste a bunch of time so I reach over and grab the book I am currently reading. The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan. A book about Australian POWs working on the Burma railway in World War II. Aussies slaughtering the English language while being tortured by Asian men in a jungle. This book will somehow summarize my love life.

Page 45: He imposed a levy on the officer’s pay to buy food and drugs for the sick.

Frankly, this isn’t far off from describing how I feel about my love life at the moment. And if I do a close reading of the sentence, I can see myself as He, the officer, and the sick. I could analyze the levy and the food and drugs until I can make them about my love life, but instead of depressing myself, I decide to choose three other books and see what page 45 has to say about my love life.

But which books?

In the interests of not stacking the deck, I mentally scan my bookshelves. I will look at the last excellent book I have read, the best book I have ever read, and Charles Bukowski, because if someone can sum up my love life it’s one of the gutter dwelling characters in a Bukowski story.

The books are, respectively:

The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

The Most Beautiful Woman in Town & other stories by Charles Bukowski

I go to The Last Werewolf and eagerly open to page 45. This is the first line:

This is what I’ve reduced him to: a human whose raison d’être is keeping a werewolf alive.

Hm. I guess this could work, but only if you do a liberal metaphorical reading of the sentence. Nouns like human  and werewolf can always be reinterpreted as penis, love, sex, or bitter collapse of senses. Plus, French. Who knows. But before I begin rewriting my love life into a short horror film starring Gérard Depardieu, I move on.

I go to Bukowski. He won’t let me down. I pick up his happy book about sexual delinquents, hookers, drunks, drug addicts, and other dregs of society and flip to page 45.

I left him there with his tongue hanging out, then threw her over my shoulder and made it back to my place.

OK. At least we’re in the ballpark. My tongue hanging out certainly describes some aspects of my love life. And while I have thrown a woman over my shoulder and carried her into my place, she had to carry me to my bed after it was clear that I had sprained my back.

But to be honest, the Buke disappoints me. Or maybe it’s just page 45. A cursory perusal of other pages proves that virtually any sentence starting any other page might have been more appropriate (or funny). A random sampling:

“You’re pussy stinks!” I yelled at her, “you belong in a Tijuana whore house!” p. 135

“You’re talking crazy now!” p. 167

Tanya laughed, got up, walked over and sat in my lap, a FUCK MACHINE? p. 41

“You’re hungry?” “And how!” p. 215

It is with some distress that I note that these random samplings all have a place in the summation and description of my love life. I replace the book on the shelf and move to Mr. McCarthy and his extraordinary tale of darkness, murder, and desolation in the Old West. Blood Meridian. 

Those first days they saw no game. p. 45

Whoa. No game. No game? Sadly, no game is the way one might describe my love life in a variety of social and lexical contexts. The main one relying on the slang term to have game. A person who has game uses charm, wit, humor, or other means to verbally let a female know that he is interested in her. And since I have the game of a Tibetan Monk, this is essentially spot on.

And then I remember that I have also written books which include a page 45. I decide to look at my published novel (Senseless) and the book I am rewriting now (The Accidental Dominant). Maybe I am subliminally conveying a message about my love life in my own books.

It hasn’t quite hit me yet. p. 45, Senseless

Oh yes. It has many interpretations: potential interest, a mistake I have made, a morose sense of loss and yearning, a burning sensation in the nether regions. I feel as though I am getting closer to describing my love life with each book. Sensing the closeness of a major breakthrough or an epiphany, I open the manuscript of my work in progress, The Accidental Dominant, and look at page 45.

I am really good at analyzing my cat’s bowel movements.

And, we have a winner. Yay.




What’s the first sentence on page 45 of the book closest to you? Does it describe your love life? 

  1. #1 by Veronika on March 7, 2016 - 4:15 pm

    Great post. 🙂 I checked page 45 and let’s say that statement summarizing my love life is a little puzzling.. 🙂 I met you last night with the new boyfiend of yours, I was mad because he is slim and I am bit chubby.

  2. #2 by Nik Wycha on March 7, 2016 - 5:18 pm

    Since all the books on my shelf are roughly equidistant from me, I chose and old standby which I regularly have to read for various classes, Foucalt’s Discipline & Punish. “There was the use of the ‘symbolic’ torture in which the forms of the execution referred to the nature of the crime; the tongue’s of blasphemers were pierced, the impure were burnt, the right hand of murderers was cut off; sometimes the condemned man was made to carry the instrument of his crime – thus Damiens was made to hold in his guilty right hand the famous dagger with which he committed the crime, hand and dagger being smeared with sulphur and burnt together.” I think it says more about the crimes of your past than my love life.

  3. #3 by Human Bean on March 8, 2016 - 6:45 pm

    Next to me: The house of hunger, p.45: “It welled.”

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