This is What it Does to Me

I am riding on a high right now. I just finished a book. 

More than that, though, yesterday was fantastic! my friend Kylie and I had planned to go hiking on Friday, but when it came near the time to leave, I just didn't feel well. I contacted her, and we decided to go to the Church History Museum in SLC because they have an art museum upstairs, and it would be lovely to go see the art without worrying about little hands touching, knocking over, destroying someones heart and soul work.

But we got sidetracked and ended up visiting for a long time, and actually watching a movie in the visitor's center at Temple Square. Where we completely lost track of time, because Kylie and I don't very often have a chance to just sit and talk, the two of us. Which is why we had planned the GNO in the first place. After we had been there for 4 hours which seemed like 1, Shem (my life long friend and her boyfriend) asked if we wanted to meet up with him for some Viet Namese food. 

Sigh. It was delicious! And then we went to a Cajun place for alligator cheesecake, pumpkin cheesecake, and deep fried Twinkies. It was a gastronomically exquisite evening, combined with the best company anyone could ask for, and I am excited for the next time we go out! Hopefully our friend Felina can join us this next time as she had plans last night and wasn't able to come.

Today, I finally got Beth's room clean! A while ago, too long to mention here because frankly, it is embarrassing, Faye had decided to play in Beth's room. She had carpeted the floor with all of the clothes from drawers and hangers, set up booby-traps with every toy in Beth's room, and then left. Since then, I have either had too much going on, something would come up, or I was not feeling well, and would just close Beth's door and pretend the mess didn't exist. Until today. I tackled that room, and in much less time than I expected, her room is once again restored to factory settings. It looks lovely, and Beth and Faye had fun spinning around, or "flying" as Beth calls it. And then Faye said "I love when Beth's room is clean. It looks and feels so nice in here!" I really wish she could remember that she likes the same thing to be done in her room, too. Silly girl.

When I finished cleaning her room, I pulled out my mental To Do list and examined it. Looking at that old and tattered list full of Shoulds and Musts dampened my mood a bit from the triumph of slaying that mess of Beth's room. My shiny armor dulled and my heart sagged while the list loomed above me, rearing its loathsome head, spewing out all the things that I have ever put there and not gotten around to crossing off. Cleaning out the gutters, winterizing my yard, mowing the lawn, cleaning out the cleaning closet, cleaning my bedroom, baking bread, mopping the floor... and then out of the corner of my eye, Temptation glistened as the sunbeams cut through the window and caressed my book.

I mentioned before that Adrienne had found my Something Wicked This Way Comes book, after I had already checked it out of the library. The plastic protective coating enshrouding the book reflected a glare into my eye, completely vanquishing any hold on me the ToDo list once held, and I happily pounced on my book with a cup of Pumpkin Cocoa, and lost myself in the whorl of words, twisting and pulling me down. Reading, devouring, drowning in the story, only surfacing when lungs are exploding, suffocating from want of air. Because that is what Ray Bradbury does to me. When I surface, gasping for breath from his wordsmithing, I always am surprised to see my room, my house, my life continuing on, living as if I had not just escaped the greatest peril with the hero of the story. Shocked that I am comfortably sitting, my legs tucked beneath me, leaning on the edge of the couch, shoulders hunched, eyes eagerly feasting on the smorgasbord before me.

And anyway, reading SWTWC is on my ToDo list. Because I haven't read it in such a long time, and I discovered it takes place between October 20-24. So I was determined to finish it before midnight tonight, for reasons completely unknown to me, it was vital I finish the book tonight. So I smiled, shoving the monstrous ToDo into the recesses of my mind and caging it there until the day I, in mock bravery and  juvenile enthusiasm, call it forth, pen unsheathed, armed and ready to cross off a task and diminish the list. Except the Lerneaen Hydra-list never diminishes, no matter how much I cross off. There is always more to do. And so, it is best for all involved that my ToDo list stay caged and hidden so I can happily live my life in denial that such a grotesque monster even exists.

But as it always goes when I make up my mind to devote a large chunk of my day to reading, lots of interruptions were in store.

My parents came by bearing belated birthday gifts. I hadn't felt well when we went there for my birthday, so they sweetly decided to come see me. And since I always have cold feet, they decided to get me some alpaca soft wool socks and slippers. I am hoping the foot coverings will help, and at least they are deliciously comfortable.

Also, tonight was the night we got to go to the pumpkin patch with our ward. Kylie joined us, and I am so glad she did! She helped me keep track of Beth and Faye and get pumpkins, and she joined in the face painting, and oohed and aahed appropriately when the girls just wanted to perform for her all night long. It was so much fun!

And then we got home and visited some more, and bedtime, and then, the delectable sound of silence that comes with the beckoning of a book. 

I could finish it, no problem!

And so I heated up some water for more Pumpkin Cocoa, and set about the serious business of reading with my orange mug beside me, a life preserver to buoy me out of the ocean of words and imagery, to ground me every once in a while with a sip. My orange mug, the only mug for pumpkin cocoa, leaching the color of the liquid for an intoxicating sameness, not knowing where the cocoa starts or the mug ends, always surprised by the empty bottom with its Cyclops eye staring back at me, unblinking and aware, judging my inattention. Somehow it empties itself while I read, because I swear I didn't stop at all in the story to take a sip and yet the proof stares at me with the empty dry eye of the bottom of the cup. Not a good life preserver after all.

But I did it. I finished my book, and I am elated. I feel triumphant, as if finishing the book fought off some evil lurking in the shadows. "Beware the autumn people," the book said. The autumn people hiding just out of sight and by finishing my book on the day the story ends in the book somehow gives me a boost of invincibility against the imagined and so real antagonist of every story I have ever read.

Somehow, reading Ray Bradbury gives me the desire to write more, too. I long to lasso the words and tame them the way he has. To spin stories out of cobwebs and dreams and through them create a cinematic event. I lack his talent, but I guess I just need to be content with my little corner of the wide world of words on the web. I am just happy I can read his books and feels his words rise up in me, the pressure building, taking a viable place in my head and my heart, ready to spew forth ash and fire and be reborn in the clumsy and weak Phoenix of my creation and imitation.

Reading. This is what it does to me.

Happily, just like my ToDo list, my reading list never shrinks but is always stretching and growing. And I absolutely do not mind that one bit! 


So glad you got to finish your book and feel inspired! My kids always love when the rooms are clean and love playing there too, I don't understand why they don't love to keep them clean by cleaning up after themselves but that must be one of those mysteries of life I will never understand!
Xazmin said…
Beth's room sounds like Hollyn's! It's a hazard to walk in there! You've inspired me to get it whipped into shape! And I love, LOVE your writing. I've told you this before, but your posts are always a delight to read! I'm glad you are enjoying your favorite time of year so much!

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