“Rare” is word that I like to use. When I should see fit. But I apply it sparingly, thoughtfully, with a delicate hand – rarely. It’s a spiky thing to put in a sentence – “rare” – prickly, maybe a little painfully hot in some places, other descriptors that imply cautionary physical deterrents. It might be the double “R” – it flies out of your mouth with a sort of growl; it makes you bare your teeth. You cannot make a dainty face if you want something to be rare.
I imagine the bristles on spinal columns being raised up in self-defense when I picture saying the word – humans like puffer fish people. That would be odd.
Also odd: despite the harshness of the linguistic here, the color in my head is a shocking contrast (we talked about words and colors once – remember?  – my silly brain sees words as colors). My conscious self says this word should be red – something like a crimson or perhaps even a maroon – that might be an association with meat. A rare steak; this requires more teeth. But this is simply not the case.
It’s clear – well, sort of. It’s the color of tempered glass. That unearthly transparent aqua. And fades – this is where I really need to use the word “blush” – into a blush of the palest, softest peach at the edges. I’m almost afraid to think about it too much, like I’m seeing something indecent, like it could crack if I use it too much. “Rare” is an incredibly fragile thing in my head. Gorgeous, though.
Now: put this altogether and what do we have here, kittens? A “Rare” something is a something sacred and tenuous – and a something that must be guarded (the double “R”; the protective growl) lest we destroy it with our fumble fingers. Have you seen your hands recently? Killing machines, the hands of Man.
POINT: of the Somethings-That-Are-Rare-In-This-World, the white tiger could be the poster child (so could True Love – another article, Erin, another article). The white tiger is Rare. And beautiful. And it should be guarded (although, it does already have its own physical arsenal of fangs). The White Tiger is also the name of a book. A debuting book by Aravind Adiga. And this book is the book that the cool kids will be discussing this Wednesday, December 12th, at The Mayor’s Book Club at the Louisville Free Public Library’s Main branch. At noon. We got there in the end.
The monthly meet-up of lunchtime minds will spend the December group focused on the 2008 novel by a Mr. Aravind Adiga. Choosen, as per the book club precedent, from the Read Your Way Around the World Book List , The White Tiger focuses on the transformation of Balram Halwai, a poor man turned from humble taxi driver to bloodthirsty murderer in the world of Indian business culture. Set in Bangalore and recounting the hellish story of Halwai’s experience in the thrum of the modern landscape, The White Tiger takes readers on an exploration into religion, money, power and corruption. It’s a love story (NOT VERIFIED).
Today is the 10th of December. Today I used the word “rare” so many times that it almost shattered. Faberge egg (also rare) scattered on the mushy floor of my head. You must simply be careful with Careful Things In Life, my friends. Rarity is something that breeds meaning.
And, just so you know, it’s also rare that the mayor will actually be at the Mayor’s Book Club, but he tries.
The Louisville Free Public Library’s Main branch is located at 301 York Street. Visit The Mayor’s Book Club page  for more information (and less fluff).
Image: Courtesy of Louisville Free Public Library website www.lfpl.org