a good pen

2022-08-30  boop

They texted me today, something random about "what books was I reading when you were visiting?" because they wanted to remember when they finished some book, and I didn't really have much to say in response. I would call it indifference except that I still care, just in a rather distant fashion, as if this were all playing out on the television. A few days ago this would have sent me into a tailspin. This is due to a confluence of things. Right now, it's the last dregs of summer, with golden light at all times bringing things into lovely, unusual angles and the trees swaying wistfully. I'm rereading Norwegian Wood after a decade (what the hell did I get out of it before?) and finding Watanabe newly fascinating and newly relatable for the way he experiences utter boredom and angst over life all at once. There's a general sense of renewal and sharp clarity that I and all my friends seem to be undergoing, perhaps naturally so, with fall underway. (By the pricking of my thumbs...) On paper, as Amy noted, life is just the same as it was at the beginning of summer. Here I am, sitting at the same desk, writing at the same computer, listening to the same music, drinking water out of the same jam jar. Well, there's a new pair of pants thrown over the bed. But somehow everything has changed. It's both wonderful and terrible to see yourself growing, just a constant feeling of cricks in the neck and pains in the limbs and a stabbing in the ovaries. I have the desire to pick up Faulkner again. I was rereading Absalom in the spring but stopped halfway as I usually do. When I get back to it, it will have been my third time through. I generally have at least a dozen books in rotation, all in various stages of being read or partly finished or fractionally engaged. Ngugi deserves a reread as well, if only I could find my old copy. Every year I tell myself, this is the year I finally finish 2666. I picked it up on a whim in Cambodia, at the airport bookstore, at least 4 years ago now. I had enjoyed Savage Detectives a few years earlier, so I thought, "This will be worth the luggage space." The problem is, every time I take a pause halfway through reading 2666 - which normally works out just fine - I try to pick it up again and forget completely what happened previously so I have to reboot basically from the beginning. Of course, the whole point of the book is that absolutely everything and nothing happens. But I still feel that I need to have some of the context to get into the swing of things again. So then it's an endless cycle of never finishing this damn book. I feel the same way about 2666 as Zelig did about Moby Dick. The light's fading and it's throwing a crumpled tissue on my desk into the spotlight in the most amazing way. In response, I told them that I remembered the Tale of Genji on the floor by their bed, and how I normally can date books I read by the pen/pencil I used to mark them up. He said something about the Muji pen he uses. "This is a good pen," I said. Then I tossed the phone on the floor and went back to my own book. - Things I listened to while writing this: SUMMER RENAISSANCE Rebel Yell Shinigami Eyes Warm Leatherette China Girl Amy Amy Amy 마지막처럼 Yuck Tristan und Isolde, Act III: "Mild und leise wie er lächelt" Satyagraha, Act II: Confrontation and Rescue MIC Drop