I am trying to read a book, by an Australian author who is quite well renowned. I have a few of her titles about the place. She writes shorts and novels and I think I have enjoyed a story or two in the past. But this small novel – novella – is hard to get into. The preface, not two pages long, has lost me in the details; sister who is an aunt who is the middle sister and then there is the wife, the youngest and then the eldest and then there’s Grandma and a woman, also a sister who’s lost her personality to marriage and the man she married to is the one that is speaking. Or something.
Reading seems to be harder and harder for me to do. I can’t find any time between all the roles that I play out each day. There’s my roles and then there’s the duties that come with them and then there’s also my feelings about these things and sometimes my feelings can be so overwhelming I can’t even dress myself and then there’s all the stuff you can never account for because life is life and it will do what it will. I try to control so much because I feel responsible when things do not go well. If things go well, no one notices and I have feelings about that also.
People say read a book to relax but what if the book is hard? What if it’s work and I am not sure I want to work for it because if it is shit my gosh I’ll take that personally. I have very little fucking time.
I spend so much time sorting – through memories and feelings about them, working out who I want to be and what I should work towards. The dried herbs and spices, the tupperware cupboard, the linen and the old paintings that I’ll keep and the ones that I pull off of the stretches and hurl into the bin. Countless shit drawings I have done in life drawing classes. The dresses I’ve had since my early twenties, my wedding shoes, the surface of my dresser. No matter how much time I invest in the act of sorting nothing seems sorted. Nothing seems any more clearer to me. In my mind I try compartmentalize and some days I still get lost in the clutter.
Today I’d like to hit pause on a few of my roles. I want to not worry about the time I’ll invest into a short book, if that time would be worth it or not.
I’d like this heaviness to lift. Like when he asks me a question I can look him in the eye, like a regular sort of person and answer in words rather than the sound of me forcing air up through my throat. A grunt, a whoosh.
So this is what happened during page 5; I opened my computer and I smashed out these words and only walked away twice. I’ll post it on the blog and I’ll make a cup of tea and I’ll pick up that book, again.