Squishing About in My Brain

August 28th Doings

Posted on: September 9, 2009

Being in the car accident at the end of June not only reminded me what a gift it is to NOT have to be sedentary, but also gave me a lot of time to read. With my newfound limits, a lot of books didn’t get finished–my limit being, “You are 40. If a book does not make you want to finish it by page 40, let it go and move on.” Quite a few books got let go, which was good for my towering bookshelf, even if it did not make much visible difference!

Thanks to a huge fine on my library card from letting my daughter check out books on it, I skipped the library most of the summer. Last week I finally paid the $20 fine. Today, August 28th, I left the house, which is irritating me near to the point of violent acting-out—I could FEEL myself about to start throwing shit–and went to the library. There were books on hold for me, to go with the books I checked out last week, and I decided if I could get to a quiet, preferably windowside table, I would treat myself to reading. Just reading. In the cool library, as it was hot out already at 11a.m., surrounded by books. Surrounded by books is one of my favorite places to be, in the entire universe, ever.

So, I put on jeans that don’t really match my orangey tank, my pretty orange flowered shoes, and slapped my favorite sun hat onto my head to hide my greasy hair. These things combined–not matching, not caring to wash my hair–should tell those of you who know me exactly how irritated I had become…I never do not match in public. Ever. And rarely in provate. (To my credit, the hat goes with the tank well, and the tank goes well with the shoes, although the hat and the flowered shoes together?…not so much. And these jeans with the bling on the pockets–not really with anything. But they are clean. But, I digress…

I ran to the post office to mail off my Netflix. I got cash. I got to the library at 10:40, parked in the only-locals-know-this-is-free parking lot next to the library, under one of the library trees—I love trees—and started reading, waiting for the library to open at 11. Grayson by Lynne Cox.

There was less of a homeless population than usual waiting to snatch up the tables for a nap inside today. I got the books I had on hold, and found one of the best seats in the library—it faces city hall and overlooks a nice little corner of benched landscaping, and is shielded by a large maple tree that sits out from it on the parking. I love this tree because not only is it taller than the building, but it has thrived even though they have paved and added more cement around it until it’s 7′ x 18″ patch is the only dirt around (until they landscaped under the windows of course), but the tree itself is still surrounded on all sides by lifeless concrete. City Hall has a yard, and lots of trees, so it’s a good view. Very green. The only seat better than this is the corner one, but it’s closer to an intersection, too—more traffic noise.

So, I got “my table”, and kept reading Grayson. By 12:26, I had finished it, feeling a little misty and a lot jealous of the author. Grayson is about a baby gray whale and a swimmer, a true story that took place when the author was 17, over just a few hours of her life, and it ends happily. No one dies, no one is hurt, there are no guns or murder or lawyers or pain and suffering to a large degree. Sitting in the library, it did not make me cry with happiness; at home, alone, however, it may have. It made me want to go to the beach. It made me want to start life over and work for the Marine Mammal Center. It made me wish I could swim well enough to ocean swim. And it reminded me of a few very important things about living a full life, and being connected to the Universe.

It’s a short book (only 147 pages), a quick read, and you should all read it. All of you, yes. Read it to your kids, too. Give it to everyone you know for their birthdays. I am not kidding. I myself am going to go out and buy my own copy, and put it in the place of honor on my bookshelf, next to Harold and the Purple Crayon, The Eight, and Mists of Avalon. And I fully plan to reread it at least once a year. And go whale-watching at least every two years for the rest of my life. Maybe even be nicer to my daughter’s hellbound cat. Maybe.

I came home after an older hippie man, smelling of smoke and dirt, sat down to share the table with me at the library. Steve. Very polite. Introduced himself. Asked if he could give me his number. I nicely said no. Bet the VW van parked down from me was his, too.

Traded my jeans for my comfy sushi-print pants (which still don’t match my tank), made some fries, read all night…sometimes, despite all the negative, life is good.


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