On the cover of my copy of “The Girl Who Played With Fire” by Stieg Larsson was a quote by Entertainment Weekly, “A gripping, stay-up-all-night read.”
This would have been the case for me, if I were equipped with the ability to stay up all night and read. I cannot, however, I did stay up late. I won’t elaborate on my definition of late so as not to embarrass myself by revealing just how late it wasn’t.
I’m sure everyone has a “played with fire” story. So I’m not saying mine is unique, but I’m planning on sharing it anyway.
I was visiting my second cousin...
Note: the fact that she is my second cousin really has no barring on the story. It is only included so later in the story when I mention her mom, my first cousin, there is no confusion over why I’m calling her my cousin and not my aunt.
Okay, so I was visiting my second cousin and we were in the closet, because there is no better place than dark and confined to play with fire. Well, we weren’t really PLAYING with fire. We were utilizing it because the book said if you wanted to talk to dead people you needed a candle. And, honestly, it wasn’t doing much good unlit. Now it might not have done any good lit, but I will never know whether a spirit would have answered my call because we were interrupted when the book we were reading over the candle caught fire. Of course, we were holding it too close. It was our only source of light.
While we didn’t plan to start the fire, we were prepared. We had the foresight to bring a glass of water with us. Of course, we didn’t have the adult wisdom to realize it wouldn’t do much good. Not because the glass couldn’t sufficiently put out the fire when it first started, but because panic leads to running away instead of using the water.
Thankfully my first cousin was home. She was quick to react and put out the fire. I can’t say how she did it because the post traumatic stress of being trapped in a closet while it was on fire, even if only a tiny one, was enough to block out what happened afterwards. I suspect she stomped it out, but I like to think she used our water.
If you noticed, I used words like “we” and “our” to evenly spread the blame. I’m sure at the time of the scolding, I wasn’t so eager to use those words. The truth lies in some “imaginary box” the PTSD created in my head. I probably pointed out it was her book on fire. And only because she was a good kid, who honestly didn’t get into trouble. And while I wasn’t a bad kid, me being part of a fire in the closet wouldn’t have come as a big surprise. So I’m sure my pleas of innocence was met with the response, “Liar, liar, pants on fire.”
Anyway, onto stuff about the book.
While reading this book I had to wonder... what was up with all the stuff about the math? Perhaps Mr. Larsson thought Lisbeth Salander could do for math what Rockstar’s do for voting (with Rock The Vote). Even I, who needs calculator assistance with basic math, was dreaming of cracking a few formulas after the super-cool, kick-ass Salander did it. I’m so swayed by peer pressure.
Further speculation about why Mr. Larsson inserted the math stuff had me coming to the conclusion that he wasn’t just talking about an unsolvable math equation. Maybe he got down and philosophical on us to say, “Hey, sometimes we are going to come across unsolvable life problems.”
I guess I’ll never really know whether I’m right. And don’t worry, I won’t be hiding in any closets with candles trying to conjure up his ghost to ask him.