I hate writing about politics. I am bad at it and it always embarrasses me after I have done it. I honestly just want to post something else to get the old thing off the board.
I have felt like crap all summer. Not as bad as poor Stu, but pretty awful with waves of nausea, congestion, a hacking cough, and general fatigue. Meals have ceased to be fun as it seems to get worse right after I eat. It also gets much worse as the weather gets hotter, so yesterday was pretty bad, bad enough so that I left work early.
On my way home I decided I wanted a new book to read. I have been having an extraordinarily hard time reading anything at all lately. Either I fall asleep or get restless and my concentration starts to flutter all around the room. I hate not being able to read - I go through these phases often enough (they can last months and months), but I never get used to it. Like most of us, books are an important part of my make-up, historically. Books have always been an escape, surely, but their pace and depth has always ensured that their refuge, however artificial, is one that heals and restores. There's something immensely desperate when your brain refuses to still itself long enough to allow its own healing and restoration, something of a hostage situation in which no demands are made, no hope of a safe trade-off exists. You can only wait and hope the right book falls into your lap.
So I go to the bookstore looking for The Right Book. I pick up everything. I can't decide. I end up with The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings; a strange choice, to be sure, but I was looking for something very different from what i usually read. The Yearling is one of those classic young adult novels that I never got around to reading as a young adult. It is about a boy and his pet fawn. I read a good portion last night, though not so far as to get to the adoption of the fawn. So far, it is lovely in its depiction of solitude and nature. Kids' books must have been different creatures in the mid-20th century - the descriptive writing here far outstrips the Harry Potter books (which I loved, by the way).
I am returning often to books that I should have but didn't read as a boy. Maybe it is the chronic sickness; there is something convalescent about these simple stories that are written without irony or cynicism.