11 June 2016
Reading in Bed & Other Things
(My plaid socks are from Foot Cardigan -- I love them and plan to wear them just like she does come winter; My book is The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides.)
I love that in our particular (that is to say, mortal) existence where things can change irrevocably in an instant -- there are still some untouchable things. Things incorruptible by the passage of time. It's reassuring that certain pleasures -- writing a letter, a bath, booking a flight, fresh sheets, a savored glass of wine, the first bite of your favorite food, reading in bed -- seem, somehow, to increase with age and time. The feeling doesn't vanish the way, in so many other places, it seems to. I find deep pleasure in this. Perhaps unparalleled. I may grow apart from people, or passions, or curiosities, or even from large pieces of myself...but these other things I will never grow weary toward.
I crave security -- there are a small number of people and things I want around forever. Him, foremost. The dogs. Our own small and new somebody, someday. To travel. The books. The photographs. The coffee. But there's another side to me (and these parts exist in concert, simultaneously, both omnipresent in their ways) that is terrified of predictability. Of knowing -- apart from the things I must have -- exactly what next month or next year or five years from now or ten will look like. I grapple with that. That's a romantic way of saying I have dark and stomach-deep fits of panic over this. And I don't know. I don't know if it's lack of predictability I want. Or that there's a thing or two I know I want...and don't yet have...and I'm afraid, terrified, in the infinitely myopic way of a twentysomething that because I don't have these things yet, I never will.
Do you ever feel that way?
It feels something like circling around. Like a carousel. And going round and round and knowing exactly where you'll end up and but each time having a hundred more theories about the ins and outs and the hows and whys of it, maybe even a whole system of theories organized under an official title, a dissertation that doesn't change really but keeps getting more footnotes. Like a lot of wasted mental energy and heart.
It's also kind of like...
When I haven't been reading enough, it's a story of false starts. It's five books one-fifth read in a stack on my nightstand. And when I have tried and tried to break it, but cannot, I reread a favorite. This time, The Marriage Plot, though many a title has been my magical restart. I circle back. One more time. And then, to my own flighty, too-sensitive, utterly mad heart I say, stop. And I start over.