Saturday, July 10, 2010

At loose ends

I was certain, some mornings, that I heard her watching TV, feeding the cat, but I caught myself. The girl stayed with her grandmother for a couple weeks, and I missed her like crazy. Somehow, a week away from her in midwinter in Cuba was easy; but a summer weekend in a cabin on a lake without her was empty.

She knows we went to Jazz Festival without her. "But we always go to Jazz Festival! Together!" By "always," I guess she means, like, twice. Last year I dragged her out with me in the drizzle, and we stayed for less than an hour, but evidently she had a memorably spectacular time.

I've been luxuriating in sleeping and drinking and smoking and reading, and being generally unproductive. There are closets to clean. Bookshelves to organize. I wanted to take inventory of all that remains unread around here. Perhaps that's a job better done slowly, after all. Maybe by the time Helena goes back to school I'll have my own reading plan sorted out.

While she was away, Helena turned into a reader. All it took, it seems, was a stash of Tintin books. I'm determined to find out for myself once and for all what the appeal is. And maybe it'll help me bring my French vocabulary up to Helena's speed.

She's also taken to journalling, on her teacher's suggestion. Someday it's just a sentence, but most days it's more than I bargained for.

The kid's been back a couple days. Life is almost normal again.

I've been trying, without success, to write about Nightmare Alley (William L Gresham). I don't know what more I can say than that it's absolutely the best book I've read in ages.

1 comment:

Richard said...

Isabella, love how you turned a touching little family reflection into an unexpected plug for Nightmare Alley. Too funny! I started reading NA a while back and was enjoying it and all but had to put it off for a while b/c I was trying to read 8 other books at the same time or something. I need to get back to that and that Graham Greene novel you recommended a long time ago....