Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Reading in bed

Well, as you know I'm a reader. An avid one. Some would say voracious.
And it's been a few weeks of off-the-charts working, out of my head with the craziness that calls itself my career on a good day, add a dash of my own insanity, rebelliousness, and never wanting to quite conform all the way, and you've got yourself a molotov cocktail. One Restless Soul.

One of the by-products of having a job that forces me to engage my mind is that often, after hours, my mind ('my' being a strange way to describe it somehow) will not dis-engage. As in, it won't turn off. Wine helps. So does running. Which is why I do it alot (running. and hell, drink wine too. Not at the same time, obviously.)  My next addiction is not television--far from it. I've never even seen an episode of Dexter, Breaking Bad, and I turned off Lost. I prefer the visuals my own mind gets from books (see, told you, it won't turn off). My addiction is reading.

And, as if sensing my cerebral/neuro-neediness, this summer, the library, my second home, has not disappointed. Earlier this year, in the spring, they renovated their small space. Renovation is a nice word for saying they re-organized the bookshelves, put in automated-check-outs for the books, and thought up new ways to display books, like in the bookstores where all the 'popular' books (the ones I usually blow right by) hang out in front, showing off, begging to be bought (there are exceptions to this, I bought Wild, didn't I? you say, but remember--I was blogging about Wild in March. Go ahead. Look it on up.)

So it's been a banner summer for reading. I've been reading two, three a week (Mike's in  Maine) and it's my downtime on the rooftop on the weekends, and my downtime after work in the evenings.

I will come up with a short list of the loved and read-in-under-ten-hours soon (Wild is on there, as is Blood, Bones, and Butter; add Audience of Chairs, a memoir by Stephen King, Still Alice {just finished this one last night, stayed up way too late reading it, and crying, about alot of things}, and you have a smattering of the seriousness of the material. Heavy. And it's SUMMER.

I had my acupuncture treatment tonight, which I have grown to love, and I came home with that peculiar residual feeling it leaves me with--a mixture of calmness and alerted-ness, and I had a couple of sandwiches for dinner because I didn't want to do dishes later. I experienced pangs of guilt after seeing a man at my local grocery store who looked hungry and probably needed food. I always get that urban guilt. Like, would he have been insulted if I handed him ten dollars? Probably not. And I could have. I should have. I will.
So I'm home here, reading again, up too late, buying myself roses to look at and washing down Imnovane with Gatorade and I am reading a cracker-jack type of book, one that just kind of came home with me from the library, with a cover I can't even conjure up in my mind even though the book is a few spare feet away from me right now, on my bed, and I am convinced: This book is here to help lead me somewhere. Somewhere important. Yes, some would say it's a book about romance, about men, about self-control. And they'd be right. But it's the self-control thing that's getting to me. That part about 'their lies becoming your truth' (thank you L.). Because I've been letting that happen wayyyyy too much in the last few months, and my head is hurting because of it. 
It happened again today, that feeling of being a piece of gum on a person's shoe, of being poised outside an office door, notepad in hand, pen at the ready, I had an echo of 'shabbily-treated waitress', a memory of past profession, coming at me in waves. And I added a dash of salt to this wound by winding up with a saccharine "Is there anything else?" (with that look that you use, as the expression goes, when you don't have a knife handy).  And then I retreat. And I puzzle. And I think about the nature of work, the nature of some to talk about doing it, and the nature of others to actually fucking do it. And I sit down at my computer and a little bit of my soul, right here, right now, gets restored back to me. The compass inside me resets.

I'll leave you with one line that I am absolutely making into my personal mantra (in my head) for the next little while, from Tracy McMillan's (so far) ass-kickingly awesome book, "I Love You, But I'm Leaving You Anyway":

"Your rules don't apply to me, and by the way--fuck you."


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