Wednesday, May 7, 2008

It's been a long time

I love hearing the spray of rain coming off of cars going by. It is 3 pm. I spent the last hour in a rose-scented bubblebath reading She Got Up Off the Couch by Haven Kimmel. I usually am only able to spend 15-20 minutes, tops, in the bathtub. But today there was a wonderfully good read in front of me, perfectly temperate water, the sound of rushing rain outside and, most importantly, nothing to do. I turned in my student grades today, picked up my graded final exam and came home. There's dishes in the sink that need done, and folded laundry to put away--there's always stuff that needs doing, but gone is the intense urgency that accompanies *everything* during the school year. I don't know yet what classes I'm teaching next semester, though I assume some form of Comp II and a Comp one section. I'll get to revising my syllabi once I know. I have two more days off of work, during which time I will spend my hours similar to how I did today--at my own slow, distracted pace. Distracted because I am inevitably high strung and feel as though I need to be doing something at all times, but slow because another part of me knows it will get done. This is the first time in months I've managed to simply read a book and lose all track of time in doing so. I'd forgotten this feeling. This is why I majored in English. I sat on the porch and chainsmoked late at night trying to figure out what to do with my life--go into physical therapy, move overseas...and finally it occurred to me that the only thing I've ever done that was worth a damn is read, and sometimes write, so why not give English a shot? Two years later with a 4.0 and a chip on my shoulder to match it, I think I made the right decision. What I'd lost during that time was the ability to lose myself in reading, as opposed to grinding out major literary themes and tropes. Granted, all that is lovely, but sometimes I want to read about a girl growing up in Mooreland, Indiana, watching her Mom defeat the patriarchal system on her own terms.

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