Over the past month I have read more books than I have in the first 28 years of my life. Yesterday I read three book, cover to cover. (For the record, they were The Picture of Dorian Gray, Gulliver’s’Travels, and Breakfast of Champions. I didn’t read any of these for school either. I just wanted to read on my first day off in awhile, then couldn’t stop.) This is a new record that surprises even me. I was even surprised when I read two in one day two weeks ago. (They were Of Mice and Men and Slaughterhouse-Five. Incidentally, I’ve become quite the Vonnegut fan.) It turns out that the trick to getting myself to read, was to admit that I hate it, and I stopped trying. I hate reading, but I love literature. I hate history, but I love learning about the past. I love women, but I hate dating them. And so on.
Incidentally, I also spoke to Rose a few days ago. You remember Rose, the woman who stood me up two weeks ago, right? Well, we spoke on the phone, and I really like talking to her. We must have spoken for 40 minutes before I had to let her go and get back to an essay I was writing. (The essay was titled “Why do babies have to die?” and it was a 4000-word monster about how A Farewell to Arms, Catch-22, and Slaughterhouse-Five deconstruct the old American myths of patriotism and war, and create new myths of their own. Frankly I think it’s one of the best damn essays I’ve ever written – possibly because I actually read all of the texts this time.) Well, the day before yesterday, Rose stood me up again. I remember sitting there at the pub, alone, nursing the pint of beer I wouldn’t finish, watching some well-to-do middle ages man stroke the legs of some young, attractive, blonde, while I kept staring at my phone, then around the pub, knowing full well that she wasn’t coming. Why was I such an idiot for letting her do this to me twice. I’m ashamed of myself for that. She’s made no attempt to contact me since then, and I’ve no desire to contact her. I think she’s gorgeous, but I’m so cross about this. So yesterday, I took to reading. Maybe that was part of why I did three in one day too; I needed to keep my mind off Rose.