I’ve been reading…

I've been reading compulsively all day. I read Patricia Wrede's _The Magician's Ward_ this morning. I read Alan Garner's _The Weirdstone of Brisingamen_ this afternoon. I read Catherine Asaro's _Catch the Lightning_ this evening. (All very good, btw, but if I pause to give synopses of these very different books, I'm going to get distracted from my main point.) I'm considering skipping taking the time to make a real dinner and just having a microwaved hot dog so I can read another book. I don't have a particular one in mind; I have about thirty waiting. This is more than I usually have waiting, and it's tempting to think that this spate of urgent book-reading is triggered by my subconscious deciding that I just have too many unread books around, acting to decrease the piles before they topple over. I don't think that's it, though.

Part of it's that I'm a bit sick. Just a cold or something, I think. Been coughing. Fell asleep partway through the Garner for a little while (and I practically never nap). I keep trying to work, even to just answer some of the mound of e-mail, and my mind turns to fuzz and I find myself logging out, wandering away from the computer, making tea, lighting candles, playing Bach and reading another book.

Is my subconscious trying to tell me something else? I'm clearly heavily into comfort mode; if I had curry already made, I'd gladly eat it -- it's just the effort of cooking it that seems a bit much. Or is it the fact that I can't read while I cook? (I've tried. Things burn. And it's impossible to chop.) If I can't read, or answer e-mail, then I might have to think. Am I trying to avoid thinking? That's part of why I'm writing this entry. Not much else to do but think when you're writing a journal entry.

I feel vaguely distressed when I stop reading. I don't know why. There's nothing wrong in my life -- at least nothing new. In fact, things that have been very unsettled and somewhat distressing (work, writing, etc.) have startled to settle down lately. I should be happier -- and I am, when I'm doing stuff. When I stop, I'm vaguely distressed, and I have no idea why.

You know, I never did all this self-analysis stuff before I met Kevin. Now I can't seem to stop. Nuisance. He's the introvert, I'm the extrovert, right? Where's Myers-Briggs when I need them?

I actually feel fine while I'm writing too. Like right now. Makes it very tempting to just write a very long journal entry. The letters I have been writing when I stay at the computer have been longer than usual. Karina is happy that I'm finally answering her mail regularly (and I wish I could continue to be so good about it) and at length, but I don't know why I am.

Okay, this entry has degenerated into vague admissions of ignorance and confusion. I don't think I've figured anything out. Maybe I'm just imagining all this because I'm slightly feverish and don't feel well. I'm going to go make some curry, and then I'm going to eat it. And I'll probably start a book over dinner, and stay up late finishing it. I haven't read four books in a day in a *long* time. I used to do it a lot when I was a kid; I'd read for practically weeks on end over the summer. (Which is probably why I'm not particularly athletic now. I didn't get out much. My uncle used to call me a plum pudding. I think he thought he was being funny.) It was a coping mechanism then, and it is one now. But the books are still wonderful, so in the absence of a better idea, I think I'll go surrender to my coping mechanisms.

I need to study more psych.

11:50 p.m. Well, I cooked a really good dinner. My only regret was that I was eating alone -- not because I wanted company, but because the curry came out perfectly, the way it only comes out about one time in a hundred. For me, at any rate. My mother, on the other hand... (this is not just bias. Everyone says my mother is a stupendous cook.)

Then I read some. Started _The Sparrow_, which has been highly recommended to me, and won the Campbell over a book which I really liked, _An Exchange of Hostages_. Religion is returning more and more to sf lately; it's interesting. But I didn't come back online to talk about that, but rather to add a poem I just wrote, and then to bed. G'night, all.


Standing in line at the grocery store,
I page through Cosmo and remember

when did you fall
when did you fall
when did you fall, in love with him?

    her eyes were closed.

across a crowded room?

    she bit her lip.
    she was drunk,
      we were all drunk, at least a little

    and nervous.

did his eyes catch yours?

    and her fingers clenched;
    she whispered a moan, high-pitched,
    his hand between her thighs,
    my fingers on her breast,
    our motions unsynchronized,
    but still. she whispers

did you look at him, and know?

    and arches, and I am guessing
    but moving, greatly daring,
    bending down to kiss her once,
    twice. her eyes still closed. her lips
    wet, reaching. he does something
    I miss, and she -- convulses.
    and stills. her eyes closed

did he smile?

    and the room is suddenly crowded.
    we watch her; we wait.

    she opens her eyes, and smiles. we
    relax. look up at each other,
    eyes slipping past, barely touching,
    and I am shaking, because I know
    something.
    something.

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