Monday, December 31, 2012

Aimless Reading: The W's, Part 31.3 (Virginia Woolf)

Between the Acts
Woolf, Virginia
Between the Acts

I don't remember where I purchased this. I looks like I peeled a price sticker off the cover that left the glue behind. You can see it smudging the third "I" in "Virginia."

This book, too, I associate this with my friend S. In this instance it was he that recommended the book to me, rather than the other way around. Once again, I picture this discussion taking place on a subway car in Manhattan. There's no phone call involved. We must, at some point in time, have had a discussion about Virginia Woolf on the subway. I have no idea what we were talking about or which books we discussed. My mind associates S, Virginia Woolf, and the New York subway system. That's all I know. That and the fact that this memory is a composite of several episodes.

Either as I fell asleep last night or was waking this morning, I had idea about something to write on the blog today. The same thing happened the other day and it came back to me after I started writing. I thought about it and made a mental note to myself to remember. I thought about how difficult it was to hold onto an idea like that even for a few hours without writing it down. I thought about writing it down, but did not. All morning I have been struggling to recall what it was I thought I should write about when I arrived at this moment, hoping that the idea would reveal itself. I thought that perhaps if I started writing about not remembering it I might remember it, as has happened on numerous occasions.


It must have been before I went to sleep last night. I was reading a short story by Brian Evenson called "Girls and Tents." It's about two little girls whose parents get divorced. They live with their father every other weekend. As a way of coping with the separation, they construct a tent city out of blankets and sheets in their mother's living room. The older daughter believes herself to be autonomous inside the tents.

Their father, on the other hand, does not have enough bedding to construct such a tentropolis. eventually, he starts showing up late, making excuses for his tardiness, until one night, when the mother is out all night and expecting him to pick the girls up after school, he doesn't at all. The sisters build their tents and keep watch until the sun comes up, believing all the while that he will show, but he never does.

End of story. Still nothing.

I remember lying in bed this morning thinking about money. I was trying to figure out some conundrum having to do with our finances. Several conundrums actually. Then I thought to myself that I didn't feel like thinking about money right now and went back to sleep. Then my alarm went off (it's set to go off on weekdays at the same time). I turned it off. Then my daughter woke up.

Then I changed her diaper, emptied the diaper genie, deposited Emily in bed with her mother, dressed, fed the dog, made some coffee, took the dog outside, realized that I hadn't brought the garbage and recycling out, took the recycling out, filled the garbage can with the diaper genie bag and another from the laundry room, flattened a few boxes for recycling, carried the boxes and the garbage can to the edge of the driveway, looked at the neighbors' open garbage lid and realized the garbage had already come but the recycling had not, took the can back in at just the moment the recycling truck arrived, turned around and walked to the end of the driveway, helped the recycling man throw boxes in the truck, returned the recycling box to the garage, went inside, made a batch of blueberry kefir and a cup of coffee, walked into my office, read a few newspapers and blogs and then started writing.

And I still can't recall what it was I intended to write about today.

from Between the Acts
The old people had gone up to bed. Giles crumpled the newspaper and turned out the light. Left alone together for the first time that day, they were silent. Alone, enmity was bared; also love. Before they slept, they must fight; after they had fought, they would embrace. From that embrace another life might be born. But first they must fight, as the dog fox fights with the vixen, in the heart of darkness, in the fields of night.

Isa let her sewing drop. The great hooded chairs had become enormous. And Giles too. And Isa too against the window. The window was all sky without colour. The house had lost its shelter. It was night before roads were made, or houses. It was the night that dwellers in caves had watched from some high place among rocks.

Then the curtain rose. They spoke.

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