Niagara Falls All Over Again
Its a good book.
In fact, its a great book - "Niagara Falls All Over Again" by Elizabeth McCracken.
I picked it up second hand, almost obviously. This time though, it wasn't from a literary romantic's hideout - a second hand book store. It was from a literary romantic's paradise - the council library.
They have a seasonal sale of books where they give away books for dirt cheap prices. Books which haven't been in circulation, books which have been neglected by readers. I got this one for 50 pence. I couldn't dare to pick up the next book in the box. Sacrilege! "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens.
I picked it up because the back cover had an interesting summary. Two comics: one fat, one thin. It opened with a line from the last Laurel & Hardy movie: "Haven't I always taken care of you? You're the first one I think of.".
This wasn't about Laurel and Hardy though. It was about a Rocky Carter and a Mose Sharp. An exciting tale of everyday life of two comics. No, not about two comics - about a team of comics. That is what the book is all about - the team.
The book takes you on a journey of two struggling comedians who dream of making it big in Vaudeville but end up taking over Hollywood. They lead very very different lives but the Carter & Sharp team is always the same. The team never ages, it never changes. Many other characters weave in and out of the story but Carter & Sharp are a team. They are a team long after they split up, they are a team long after they are bitter with each other and they are a team long after they have stopped talking for decades.
Rocky is hyperactive. He wants to do that one more movie, one more TV show, one more radio show. Rocky cannot just sit down and die. He begs for that just one more time - the one last time. "We will get back to it all" he seems to say. He pleads - like I've pleaded. One more movie, a few more minutes of conversation, one more trip together... just one more football game.
"Guys, we are all leaving for different places. We might never meet again for many years after this day. Heck, we might never play football together again. Lets do this one last time.".
I came home that night with my shoes unsoiled and my calves devoid of that sweet pain I so loved.
I thought teams, friends and partners last forever.