My purchase was rooted in a love of all things Dirty Dancing. In high school, during my millionth viewing, I made a note of the book Robbie hands to Baby. He tells her he wants his well-worn copy of “The Fountainhead” back because it has notes in the margins.
It didn’t matter that I was taking book recommendations from a fictional movie character, or that it was the bad guy, or that he ended the conversation with Baby “some people count, some people don’t.”
Like any red-blooded American teenager, I had a reason to go to the mall, and all lucidity went out the window.
For the next few years, I packed and unpacked ‘The Fountainhead’ every time I moved into a dorm room and back home again; the binding remained unbroken. It made its way to D.C. with me that summer. I made a conscious decision that it was time to read the thing.
So, I spent long summer days reading atop of the apartment building; a pool-less, concrete slab where no air circulated. I guess you could say it was fitting, as the space was as utilitarian as the buildings our hero, Howard Roark, designed in the book. Or maybe his weren’t utilitarian. I don’t know.
Because I never understood a word of it.
But I wasn’t going to give up on it just like that. Somewhere there had to be Cliff’s Notes of this thing.
Instead, at the end of the book, I found a tear-out postcard where you could send your address to the Ayn Rand Institute for more information. I stole a stamp from Callie’s desk and hoped that the institute hadn’t closed or moved locations.
Shortly after I sent the postcard, my parents received countless mailings from the Rand Institute. It was regularly tossed along with the other junk mail.
Because some pieces count, some pieces don’t.