This week we are supposed to be sharing with you our Free Pass Lists: an index of five(ish) celebrities we would like to be able to shag without consequence. Unfortunately, I am the first poster on this topic, and I'm more of a one-person-list kind of gal. And that person is sexy not so much on account of celebrity, but sexy on account of intellect and humor and compassion. (I know, I know: boring, pious, gag you with a spoon.) You can tune in the whole rest of the week for talk of nipples and nakedness--which, let's be honest, is the only reason you come here anyway--but instead of telling you the five people with whom I'd like to share my bed, I'm going to tell you the last five people with whom I did share my bed.
1) Anne Lammot, Traveling Mercies.
"Later that afternoon, Sam looked up at me beseechingly and said, 'It has always been a dream of mine to fly.' I stared at him and thought, Oh dear, he has begun channeling John Kennedy. Then I tried to figure out what to do. I would decide one thing--to let him fly, to give him his freedom, his wings. I'd remind myself that I usually feel deeply and philosophically that Sam is not mine, or at any rate that he is not my chattel--that he is on loan, he belongs to God, but for whatever reason, he has been entrusted to my care--entrusted, rather, to my clutches. Then I would decide that I was crazy, that the world is aquiver with menace as it is, and one does not need to exacerbate this state of affairs by flinging one's own child off a mountain."
2) Madeline L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time.
"Well it's what things look like," Meg said helplessly.
"We do not know what things look like, as you say," the beast said. "We know what things are like. It must be a very limited thing, this seeing."
3) Sarah Vowell, Assassination Vacation.
"Just as [Reagan] cracked to the doctors who were saving his life that he hoped they were all Republicans, the one time I came to in an ambulance (following a bike accident in which I hit a parked car) was during Reagan's successor's administration. The medic asked me who the president was and I answered, 'George Bush, but I didn't vote for him.' It pains me that, like Reagan, faced with the profundity of death my first conscious impulse was to act like a smart-alecky partisan jackass."
4) Gideon Defoe, The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists.
"If the pirate with a scarf had been more poetically minded he'd have thought that her eyes were like a thousand emeralds, glittering in a far-off pirate chest. But he wasn't, so he just thought that she had really green eyes, a bit like seaweed."
5) Sarah Vowell (again!), The Partly Cloudy Patriot.
"It's that time again. On Tuesday, I'll be going over to the housing project on Twenty-fourth street to vote. I think of you every time I draw the voting booth curtain behind me, every time I pull the lever. I love it in there. I drag it out, leisurely punching the names I want as if sipping whiskey in front of a fire. I mean, how many times in a life does an average person get to make history?"
A few weeks ago during a freak weekend snow storm I got a case of cabin-fever and insisted that my best friend Amy and I go to the bookstore. She said, Okay, let's go. I said, Oh, but first I have to shower. She said, Since when? And I said, I never go to the bookstore dirty. When we made it to Barnes and Noble, there was a sign on the front door that said they had closed early due to inclement weather. I stamped my foot right there on the frozen concrete and said, What the...what!
Amy looked me over and then up and down. "Are you wearing...mascara?" she asked.
"No," I said, wiping at my eyes.
"You are," she said. "You got dressed up for your date with the bookstore and now you're all mad because for the first time in your life the bookstore stood you up!"
I said no, psh, whatever. But it wasn't long until I started asking around about the library. I've slept with Pulitzer winners, Newberry winners, Man Booker prize winners. While my Free Pass List isn't laminated, my bookshelves are full. I can make room, but Heather Hogan don't beg for no one. 'Cept maybe JK Rowling. And David Sedaris. And Haven Kimmel. And, well, TWoP Jacob. Obviously.