I woke up to a high pressure system exploding into my room through the open window, groping me with cold, clammy fingers so that I pulled frantically with my feet to cover myself with the sheet which is invariably shoved to the foot of my bed by the end of every night, tousled the scraps of paper littering my desk flitting a few carelessly to the floor, and stormed out slamming the door.
When rain falls lightly and spuratic with occasional lightening interuptions behind a stormy, door slamming, introduction, it is bound to be a good morning. I rolled over and pulled A Farewell to Arms off the nightstand and followed the terse and straightforward sidewalk of Hemingway's prose. Some books, national treasures that they may be, are just exercises in discipline for me. I prefer stories on winding paths that will halt a galloping narative to delve descriptively into the world of a discarded napkin or the unexplicable pair of underwear you find occasionally by the side of the road. Hemingway is a square and a pomp and a drunk. Still I plowed through a couple chapters before climbing out of bed. I like the Italians in the book and their simple disgust with war. "Anything is better than war", they say.
Like most gusty, irascible storms this mornings was all on the front. It drizzled for a half hour or so but had mostly died out by the time I walked out to get the mail. It is Sunday, the air is heavy, the driveway is wet, and I am picking up the mail a day late. There is a great feeling of freedom and nonchalance in picking up the mail a day late. It's a way to show that the world can and will wait until I'm damn ready to consider it. Trips was in the box, which is a bi-monthly magazine. The beauty of bi-monthly subscriptions is that you almost forget you're subscribed every time a new magazine shows up which makes it new and exciting all over again. I went inside and flipped through the first few pages over a bowl of granola and yogurt. I try to ration the articles out so that the magazine lasts at least a week. After all it will be another two months before I get a new one. It never really works. Like sex, I always want it to last forever but attack it in a fury that results in premature consumation.
Next to the toilet right now is The Web that has no Weaver: an introduction to Chinese medicine which I took time to peruse thoroughly. Most of the readers I know are never reading only one book. Like myself they have books stashed away in all corners of their lives - bedside tables, kitchen counters, at the office, in the car, a couple between the cushions in the couch, and of course the bathroom. All are bookmarked and in progress though in some cases one may have to go back a few pages to refresh the memory. One or two are in a highly active state. They may be consumed in a day or two while others are idle most of the time. GEB lies under my pillow unopened for months now, but bookmarked half way through. I still consider it in progress. cacl keeps a stack of five to ten books in the closet across from his toilet, some of which change between my infrequent visits while others have become bathroom reading standards. All of them have pages folded over, marking a place. dem bones used to have books on the bookshelf as well as scattered around his room all marked and in progress.
We stow our literature, like acorns, hidden away in safe places for rainy Sundays like this when the wet weather weighs down the trudging mule of time so that we can read in peace, unconcerned with the list of what remains unfinished.