Monday, April 21, 2008

Odds, ends, and others

It must have been windy last night and this morning, as I was serenaded again by the melodious wind chimes above my bedroom window. It didn't bother me as much, possibly because 1) I'd taken a sleep-aid or 2) I decided not to let it bother me. (We'll see how long that lasts.)

* * *

I finished reading "The Uses of Enchantment" by Heidi Julavits, and was disappointed. I wanted to like the book, which is a novel told in turn through three different narratives: in the "present" there is a young woman returning home for her estranged mother's funeral; in the past her therapist relates what happened during their sessions 14 years earlier that led to his losing his license; and further in the past, her description of what "might have happened" the night she disappeared as a teenager. Theoretically these three unite to create a full story, with the essential mystery of the truth capture somewhere within. Instead, I found that the layers of unreliable narration were more annoying than anything else - it was one of those instances where the structure overpowered whatever story lay beneath it.

* * *

Did I mention that I really loved "Sarah Marshall?"

I am stuck upstate in a conference center, on the night between the two days of a two-day planning meeting. It's not as bad as it sounds. Well, actually, it's worse than it sounds, but I knew it would be, was dreading it for weeks, and finally this morning woke up and vowed to not let it get to me. So I've been consciously upbeat and pleasant and trying my best to remain alert and awake, even if it's to check my treo for email surreptitiously or scribble random story ideas on the conference center notepad. I smile when the head of the department looks at me, and volunteer answers to questions when I know them. I even cracked a few jokes (successfully.)

I've been here before. Over eight years ago, because I'm that old, although it feels like yesterday. When I was here, for a meeting when I worked for another company, I met a man from an office in another city, and we hit it off. Something started, here, that lasted several months and left me with a broken heart. Being here is odd.

And I think, wow, I never would have thought on that trip that I'd be back here, eight years later, still single, not having spoken to him in seven years.

But where will I be eight years from now?

* * *

I need to sleep.


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