Tuesday, June 10, 2008

five years

I overheard my coworkers begin their morning chatter and reached for my headphones just as one of them exclaimed, I haven't read a book in ages. The other responded, It's been five years since I read a book!

A moment of brain-recoiling horror. I can't imagine not reading books. All the time. Sometimes several at a time. And real books, fucking snob that I am. Books that have vocabulary and plot. Books that challenge my viewpoint and pull me into another world.

But, I thought (trying to regain my equilibrium) there are things that I haven't done in five years that might horrify someone else. Let me think. Five years since my last manicure? Okay. Maybe something more substantial...five years since I went to a concert?...since I've worn heels and pantyhose? Okay, that isn't really substantial. Five years since I danced? That actually is a tragedy...except I can't dance. Five years since I've bought a car...since I've gone hiking or camping (I'm stifling my applause). Five years since I've ridden a bicycle. Okay, now we're getting somewhere. Five years since I've flown a kite or gone skiing or used differential calculus.

Now I'm exhausted. But none of these things seems as critical, or mutually exclusive to giving your brain regular stimulation. Of course, we always see as most important the things we like and are good at...

Aw, bullshit: people, your brains are going to mush and you need to feed them something decent. Not the
Weekly World News. Not romance novels. Or not just the Weekly World News and romance novels.


Dave said...

What's with you people and your high falootin' "books" with "pages" full of "ideas" and "unnecessary quotes?"

You need to watch more reality TV like the rest of this god-fearing country.


StevensVox said...

I am right there with you! That is probably 'one' of the main reasons (clue) why my last relationship did not pan out (along with being a registered Republican, ex Air Force officer and used to be married to a woman). And to be honest it is usually one of first questions when getting to know someone, 'What was the last book you read?' It used to be one of my requirements, 'If the last time you read a book was for school or a job or class, we have no reason to be dating each other. Too bad i did not follow through on that rule this last time. Seriously, there is nothing I think that is more comforting or appealing than laying in bed with your partner while both of you are reading a book.

The Guy Over There said...

When I take over America, there will be an annual citizen test.

Anyone who doesn't read at least 3 books a year (good ones, damnit) will be deported.

Oh, and they'll have to write and read book reports, to be shown and voted upon on youtube. The people with the lowest-rated ones will have to spend a summer in Crawford, helping the Boy-Man King clear brush from his "ranch."

This will ensure that the population shrinks to about 6,000 people, nationwide.

Then everyone gets their own tractor. And a full set of the ultimate tool kit. You know the one. Submit.

Narya said...

It's more than 5 years since I drove a car . . . probably more than 10 years, actually. Not even slowly, up and down the driveway. I DO have a driver's license, you just don't want me to use it.

In general, I feel the same way about books, but I've had to revise a little. My Special Friend reads slowly, and thus doesn't really read books much at all--but he's also one of the best editors I've worked with (we used to work together), and he's a clever writer. It's definitely a challenge--my first impulse is always to say "you have to read this!"--but it turns out there are enough other stellar qualities. Who woulda guessed?

Epiphenita said...

special friends always exempted...and stellar qualities always weighed in.

thanks for your response, narya.