Monday, August 24, 2020

Infinitely nonchalant

Traveling to another province has a postapocalyptic vibe. You see everyone wearing masks and you wonder what happened here. And then you realize that it's the same as at home, and you wonder why you thought it would be different.

My mother's basement has yielded up all its dead bodies — its yearbooks and Polaroids, record albums and memorabilia, documenting lives we'd forgotten we lived.

I find an ad mounted on plexiglass (the germ of an art project?). I can't decide if the colours have faded or if time has emboldened them.   

I wish Café Blasé were a real place, where everyone wears creamy pastels and has big 80s hair. A place where copywriters gather to pool their adjectives. An utterly worldly, other-worldly place. As if one day, we wake up fresh as daisies and collectively decide to stop caring. And we look beautiful as we go about it.

Yesterday morning I stepped out of the chaos of the house to go for a walk and get a coffee. Stupid town where pedestrians are looked upon as freaks and the only coffee option is Tim Hortons or Starbucks. I haven't lived here in 37 years. I don't think I'll miss it.

I haven't cracked a book in over four days, since before the long drive. I'm currently not reading Ottessa Moshfegh's Death in Her Hands.

Reading was different, of course. I liked books. Books were quiet. They wouldn't scream in my face or get offended if I gave up on them. If I didn't like what I read, I could throw the book across the room. I could burn it in my fireplace. I could rip out the pages and use them to blow my nose, or in the bathroom. I never did any of that, of course — most of the books I read came from the library. When I didn't like something, I just shut the book and put it on the table by the door, spine facing the wall so that I wouldn't have to look at it again. There was great satisfaction in shoving a bad book through the return slot and hearing splat against the other books in the bin on the other side of the librarian's desk. "You can just hand that to me, " the librarian said. Oh no, I liked to shove it through. It made me feel powerful.

No comments: