Tuesday, July 3, 2007


I was going to post about MK's wedding that I went to last week. I will. After I get through this enormous post. I am also going to try to top-post, so it all makes sense. But in case it doesn't, it should be read in order of the Roman numerals.

I often read through the night. Especially in the summer, when I know I have very little to do during the day, and can therefore be less than functional after very little sleep. This habit developed in my early teens, when my parents would bring home books borrowed from friends for a couple of days, and there wasn’t enough time for all three of us to read them in a logical manner, so we read them through the night. These were either banned books, or popular books that we couldn’t afford, or couldn’t obtain in any other way – I read “Lolita” that way, for instance, and “Gulag Archipelago” – you couldn’t buy it in Siberia, but somebody bought it in Moscow, and it would make its way around my parents’ circle of friends and acquaintances.

Now I read through the night because a book in question is too interesting in either the plot or prose to be put down, and I tend to “gulp” them. I am actually a very crappy reader, retaining little specific info from fiction, reading fast, deriving pleasure from the pure fact of reading. I do not linger, I do not memorize quotes. If I come across something good, I type it up. I read most novels for the plot points only, unless they are exceptionally well written, and the language itself captivates to the point of needing to re-read passages because of their beauty. If I recall the plot of a novel 10-15 years after I read it, it must have made a huge impression on me. I used to read almost indiscriminately, drawing the line at romance novels and historical/military non-fiction. Now I read popular novels, mystery, and biographies. Also, in the last few years I discovered I prefer fiction with strong female protagonists who echo my own experience in some way. I don’t know why other people read. I read to escape, and to relive.

Which is why this post is about death. Last night I read this novel – Finishing Touches by Deanna Kizis.

It’s quintessential Chick Lit. I am often a sucker for Chick Lit. In this novel a woman my age who has interior design aspirations loses her best friend in a car accident, and this leads to a chain of events that allow said woman to discover who she truly is, and who her friends are. How our relationships are fragile, and people never really talk about their true feelings. How it’s not too late to find yourself at 30. So of course, instead of drawing parallels with my own friendships (as I believe the author would like us to do) I went into my relationship with death. My extremely complex relationship with death, I’d like to believe. I felt the need to chronicle my personal acquaintance with death, as if writing it down will make something better, will explain my grieving processes, will make the constant terror for my loved ones dying go away.

First of – my parents are alive. As are my closest friends and lk. I have no siblings. So I have no trauma equivalent to losing your best friend at 30. Nor do I wish to ever experience that. But I have experienced many small losses over the years, which have desensitized me to death and grief. They also constantly make me think – how long before a VERY significant loss occurs? Will I be able to deal with that when it comes? I decided to recount them chronologically, mixing relatives with famous people, so take it for what you will.

No comments: