“Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish: A Novel” by David Rakoff

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Have you ever had a book that became such a part of your existence that you cherish it like a very good life-long friend? One of mine is David Rakoff’s last book Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish:  A Novel. I first listened to the audiobook on Christmas day. I was alone in New York City. It was warm enough to walk the entire Highline North to South, then crossed over to the Lower East side and then walked North by Katharine Hepburn’s old townhouse on East 49th. I ate dinner alone in Chinatown and watched TV in my hotel room. I had nothing to do and all day to do it, so I did touristy things I know that no one would agree to do with me.

Here’s the thing: It’s written in couplets. It is a series of stories that are eventually interwoven with each other. It is an exercise in how we all unintentionally influence the lives and existence of each other. In rhyming couplets! It is beautiful, heartbreaking, inspiring, and one of my very best friends.

I will listen to to this morning as I walk to the gym, work out, and walk home. It is my Christmas gift to myself.

Being a stranger was like being dead,
and brought to mind how, in a book he had read
that most folks misunderstood one common state:
The flip side of love is indifference, not hate.

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