A Book Worth Getting Arrested For

My latest author find is Beth Lisick. I stumbled upon her work when I read her hilarious story, “Tips ‘n’ Things by Elayne” in The Speed Chronicles (Akashic, 2011, ed. Joseph Mattson), and set out to find more. So I was thrilled when I found her publisher, Manic D Press, at the Anarchist Book Fair in San Francisco on the way home from Left Coast Crime in Sacramento.

So I’m on the plane ride home reading Lisick’s hysterically funny collection of short pieces, Monkey Girl, sitting next to a woman with serious OCD who kept straightening out the little tabs that hold the tray tables in place and shrinking away from the slightest contact with my elbow (I tried to limit it, honestly). But I really have to use the men’s room and I’ve got about 5 minutes to catch my flight to Long Island, and somehow in all the confusion I leave the book (along with Ursula LeGuin’s The Wild Girls [PM Press, 2011]) in the seat pocket in front of me, because I’m rushing to make a connecting flight at Chicago’s Midway, not exactly a low volume airport.

And there I am using the men’s room inside the terminal when I realize what I’ve done. So I finish up and rush back to the gate, figuring that since they haven’t started boarding the next flight yet, maybe I can talk them into letting me back on the plane. But the gate’s unattended and nobody stops me as I walk right past the counter and down the jetway, past the flight crew who are waiting to board the plane themselves, expecting the alarms to go off any second and for security to haul me off to a holding cell or interrogation room at any moment. But there are sacrifices that must be made for Art.

I find both books neatly stacked on my seat (and immediately recognize the work of my awkward seat mate). I grab them and go.

So, Beth, if you’re out there, I just want you to know this: Your books are worth getting arrested for.

And that sometimes people with OCD can be helpful, too.

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