Its pages now yellowed with time [and perhaps, travel], the
paperback bore the marks of the years. Only a year after it came out of the press in 2003—on October
6, 2004, to be exact—someone left a note, in an uneven handwriting on its first unnumbered
page, which reads: “To: Ms. Ruth Walters, From Cathy Danis with Love.” Which sets
me off thinking who Ms. Ruth Walters and Cathy Danis were. How did they come upon Toni Morrison, how were they introduced to the author, how did they discover her? Was Toni Morrison something they talked about over a cup of coffee or tea or did Cathy Danis merely pick her
on the shelf to give as gift? Did Ms. Walters read the book before it landed in my hands a year or so ago? I was looking for other marks on the yellowing pages
as I finished reading it but did not find any, even as I left the green marks of my marker on its dog-eared pages for future readers to think about. If you'd be confronted with this kind of writing, would you be able to put the book down?