Anyway, to back up a little, I arrived at Roshani's dad's place around 7-ish yesterday. She and Tom and Zoe are staying there for a bit so her dad and sister can help out with the baby; now that Tom's gone back to work during the day, she was going a bit mad alone in their apartment. Zoe is absolutely beautiful. I know everyone related to a baby thinks that baby is beautiful, but this time it's true -- she has creamy pale brown skin and wide dark eyes; I think we have supermodel potential here. Heh. When I said that, Roshani nearly fainted -- she says they're thinking aeronautics engineer right now. Supermodel is not in the game plan. :-) We'll see. Tom's mom and dad are actors, so perhaps Zoe will end up a fabuous and intelligent scientist-actress. Like Jodi Foster in Contact. Though more beautiful. And a real scientist, not just playing one.
She's only three weeks old -- she's so light! I'm not sure I've ever held such a young baby before; I didn't expect her to be so barely there. Her fingers look so fragile; if I took her hand in mine and squeezed, I think I might crush them. But she's also big enough that I'm once again astonished to think what Roshani must have gone through -- no matter how easy a labor it supposedly was, that must have hurt. At any rate, Zoe is a beautiful result of all that hard work. I kept wanting to pat Roshani on the back and say "Well done!"
The young parents were looking prety tired by the time Kevin arrived (having spent half an hour getting lost), so I introduced him to the rest of Roshani's family and then we toddled off. A quick dinner at an Italian place nearby (which had the odd and distressing habit of putting ice cold tomatoes and other ingredients inside two slices of briefly grilled bread and calling the result a panini sandwich -- what the result really was was practically inedible), and then we headed home.
His place is slowly looking more homey -- I've been pestering him to hang some sort of art in the living room (which has a huge bare wall above the fireplace) and he finally got something, that Picasso sketch of Don Quixote, which looks good. He also got himself a new G3 laptop, which he was much more excited about. :-)
We watched a video for a while, but it had some abusive scenes in it and I got distressed so we turned it off halfway and went to bed. I just can't take that sort of thing in movies; even verbal abuse makes me want to cringe and hide. There's a whole genre of movies that I just can't watch as a result; it feels like a weakness, a failing in me (a writer ought to be able to read/watch anything, no?), but I'm afraid I'm stuck with it. Snuggling with Kev eventually made me feel better.
Short on sleep this morning; he had to get up early to go teach, which woke me; I puttered about for a while while he was gone, skimming through a bit more of the movie on fast forward to find out what happened, re-reading bits from Elizabeth Moon's Deed of Paksenarrion (which I love, and somehow don't own a copy of), showering and dressing and packing up again. Then he got back, we figured out my flight was earlier than we thought, and we dashed off to the airport.
He saw me to my gate and watched my bags while I ran to Starbucks and bought some chai. I had ten minutes to spare. Then a quick hug and kiss and I'm on the plane, not too traumatized (I'll see him again in less than three weeks, hooray!), and now happily tapping away at my Visor keyboard, talking to you.
I did finish up the novel that I started on the plane yesterday, Lisa Goldstein's Dark Cities Underground. It's odd -- not quite like any of her other work, I think. It's a tangled tale connecting underground trains, children's books, mythology...in some ways it reminded me of Connie Willis's To Say Nothing of the Dog -- perhaps for the frantic pace of it. It's not as funny; it's a darker book. Definitely interesting and worth reading, but it didn't pull me in the way her Red Magician did. Ah well.
I've also started E.M. Forster's Aspects of the Novel. Pretty interesting so far, and very readable (since it's basically a transcription of lectures he gave at Cambridge in 1927), though it does make me despair of ever feeling that I've read enough of the important books that I'm supposed to have read (which he refers to freely). Here's an interesting passage on why there is so much of love in novels:
"Love, like death, is congenial to a novelist because it ends a book conveniently. He can make it a permanency, and his readers easily acquiesce, because one of the illustions attached to love is that it will be permanent. Not has been -- will be. All history, all our experience, teaches us that no human relationship is constant, it is as unstable as the living beings who compose it, and they must balance like jugglers if it is to remain; if it is constant it is no longer a human relationship but a social habit, the emphasis in it has passed from love to marriage. All this we know, yet we cannot bear to apply our bitter knowledge to the future; the future is to be so different; the perfect person is to come along, or the person we know already is to become perfect. There are to be no changes, no necessity for alertness. We are to be happy or even perhaps miserable for ever and ever. Any strong emotion brings with it the illusion of permanence, and the novelists have seized upon this. They usually end their books with marriage, and we do not object because we lend them our dreams."
This is all too apt for me; Kev and I spent a while discussing this topic last night, and it's part of our ongoing conversation. His argument is pretty parallel to Forster's, I think -- that the desire for permanence is illusory comfort, and that it's better to know that the thing is impermanent, and stay alert and keep doing whatever's necessary to maintain that balancing act of love. In some moods I agree with him, but in others, I long for a time when it'll all be done, all be resolved and easy and stable and finished. But perhaps that isn't possible with something that is still a living, growing thing. I change, he changes; as long as that's true, our love has to change to keep up, no?
In any case, you're all caught up, and I'm going back to Forster. I'll talk to you guys again soon.