Saturday, March 15, 2014

Songs On the Radio

You must forgive me for not writing more, but I have been mourning the loss of someone very dear to me.  So close were we that once, when asked about the relationship between us, I flippantly said we were Siamese twins, separated at birth.  Never once did I consider what it would mean to be separated by death. 

At first I felt so deeply and intensely lost that for days no other thoughts entered my mind.  Two days after his death, I dreamt I was standing inside his house and even though I was aware that he was gone, I felt great peace even in the moments just after awakening.  Then once again I found myself struggling with his death as though it were some kind of ancient dragon I had to fight and defeat before I could begin to feel better again and, even as I struggled with his death, I tried to deny it, unable to form a simple sentence that would contain both his name and the word 'died' in it.

Then, when the memories started coming back I thought of all of the places we had been to together.  For weeks I began to visit those places, driving around compulsively until I realized I was looking, not for more memories, but for him. 
Finally one day I heard a song on the radio about a guy who wanted to be taken to a place where it's “Sunny and 75” and I remembered all the hours I had spent with this man in a room where the blinds were always halfway up and how, whenever I was with him, it was always sunny and seventy-five for me.  On another day while listening to the song “I’m Already There,” I felt his presence beside me. But oh, how I longed to return to normal even as I forgot what normal was. 

Then came the day when I misplaced my wallet and locked myself outside my car and, as funny as it sounds, I knew that normal was returning.  And now when I long to return to the place that was always sunny and seventy-five, I remember that he is already here.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Quick Decision

Now that my manuscript, Rude Awakening, has gone from editing to cover design, I am getting excited about seeing the final product.  Of course, I knew this day would arrive and wondered how I was going to feel - I feel as though I can breathe again.  “Are you going to write another book?” someone asked me after the book made its way to production.  “No,” I replied. Then thought about it. “Hell no,” I said with emphasis.

Once the book left my hands I was able to do what I have been dreaming of doing for years – sit quietly in a corner reading someone else’s work. So that’s what I did until I realized I was in a rut. Or that’s what my best friend from childhood would say if she knew I had just read three books in a row by the same author.  But I can’t help it.  I’m addicted and oh, what a delightful addiction it has been.  I don’t doubt you would feel exactly the same way if you too, were reading the books of Matthew Quick.

First I watched the movie, Silver Linings Playbook, then I read the book.  I loved it so much I went looking for more.  What I found was Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock and even though it was listed as a book for teens, it turned out to be a delightful read. As soon as I finished, I went out to buy the ingredients for banana chocolate chip pancakes.  (If you read the book, you understand and if you haven’t read it, you have a treat or two waiting for you.)

Finally I sat down to read his latest book, The Good Luck of Right Now. When I finished that book with its delightful references to Richard Gere and the Dalai Lama, I felt an overwhelming urge to hug the next person I saw, even if that person turned out to be a stranger – especially if that person turned out to be a stranger.  And now that I’ve read three of Quick’s books, I am looking for one more.  But since the Good Luck book came out only a few weeks ago, I doubt that he has had time to write another.  So that settles it.   If I want to read another book as delightful and full of life as Quick’s books are, I’ll just have to start writing one myself. If I begin right now, I should be done in about three years!!!