Scattered thoughts

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I picked up a book today, for the first time in eleven days, and it was with much relief. I will still have time to read, damn it! My life is not over. Even though we’ve had houseguests for almost two weeks, I still feel somewhat isolated, which is pretty strange, but evidently part and parcel with caring for an infant.

A book is not exactly the outside world, but it is a step ahead of a magazine (though I still have some catching up to do on the September issues. Soon, soon! I will be able to wear normal clothing.). I still haven’t caught up on my internet browsing though: most of my contact with the outside world is happening via NPR, with a second sliver occurring via ongoing contact with work, and the biggest piece through Seth.

The book I began today is, as it happens, Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles, selected after reading this New Yorker piece by Maria Bustillos, referenced on The Hairpin.

Ah, John Waters. I just love John Waters, though I do not love all of his films. It’s possible that I saw Pink Flamingoes too early, but there were just things in there that I just couldn’t laugh at (don’t put that chicken there, please!). I guess it’s so absurd that it has to be funny, but oy. (An additional aside, which I’m apparently full of today: a couple weeks ago someone was telling me something about Baltimore, and I realized that everything I know about Baltimore I know through John Waters and The Wire. It must be the strangest place.)

Anyhoo, the thing I did want to evangelize about vis a vis Two Serious Ladies is the dusty writing exhortation to show, not tell. Well-told telling is a total pleasure, and just a few pages into Two Serious Ladies, I was already amused.

As a child Christina had been very much disliked by other children. She had never suffered particularly because of this, having led, even at a very early age, an active inner life that curtailed her observation of whatever went on around her, to such a degree that she never picked up the mannerisms then in vogue, and at the age of ten was called old-fashioned by other little girls. Even then she wore the look of certain fanatics who think of themselves as leaders without once having gained the respect of a single human being.

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