It’s two weeks into the new year – the time when those of us who regularly went to the gym in December can now go back, as the tide of resolutionistas has receded. How are you doing on your resolutions, goals, and milestones? We’re not; we’re sick.
In our house, we’re about three weeks behind schedule. The Tiny Town Medical Outpost (Not just EMTs! We have a NP!) receptionist eyed my husband as he dragged in, and likely had not only his file and his copay pulled up before he got the window, but also the “and it’s ANOTHER flu patient who’s not getting better.” He dragged home, and I went the next day, and got mildly upbraided for not coming in at the same time so we could be seen together, as they’re swamped with folks catching bronchitis, pneumonia, and strep as secondary infections to go with the flu.
The Tiny Town Nurse proved that she understands that adults revert to childish ways when they’re not feeling well, and put everything right in my world by rewarding me not fussing about the shot with a lollipop. Some things are just sacred, and some rituals must be observed!
While I’ve been under the weather (and still remain), I’ve not felt creative. Neither has Peter – he’s barely up to editing what he’s written. I owe Margaret Ball a blurb for a book, and while I’m feeling terrible about not producing it, I’m not up to producing anything worth reading. (When she releases these, try not to have bronchitis when reading, because the way they’ll get you laughing sets off the coughing.)
So I’ve gone back to reading old favourites. The Tough Guide to Fantasyland is a great one, because all the guidebook entries are short, funny, and it doesn’t even require picking up where you left off. Emma Bull’s Finder, Lois Bujold’s The Paladin of Souls – books I know well enough that if I doze off and pick up somewhere other than where I left off, I still enjoy the story.
When I’m better, I’m still not going to want to read anything that’s heavy going for a while, because I’ll have a house to clean up, my job to get back into, and twice the work of normal to catch up. So I’m going to be reading fun fantasy and science fiction, stuff that is worth spending my beer money on to let me escape the crushing press of chores and customers and life.
Robert Kaplan’s Earning The Rockies will just have to wait.
When will I feel up to reading message fiction? Well, actually, never. I tried reading some Daniel Keyes Moran, because I remembered him as fun SciFi, but right about the point in The Last Dancer where he started on the inevitability of the UN taking over the shattered remnants of Occupied America, and yay socialism, and the book got tossed to the floor under the growing pile of Kleenexes. It may go out with the Kleenex. I’m sick; I don’t have time or energy for that.
After the last two years, even before the flu and bronchitis, I was already sick of politics. When the glitterati tried to use some ceremony to name a talk-show host as the next president, my only thought was “Dear G-d no; 2016 was bad enough for the year-long election season, followed by 2017’s year-long temper tantrum. Leave that nonsense to 2020.” Don’t try to raise my consciousness, or protest issue of the minute, or inform my politics, brow-beat me or exude smug sanctimony. Just entertain me.
In the meantime, if you can promise me a fun read, a pleasant escape from the hours between medication doses and the way my chest hurts every time I draw a breath, I will meander through your book, enjoy it, and return for more.
What are your comfort reads?