Apparently I talk about the snow a lot on Fridays (don’t worry, I know today is Tuesday). Peering at the piles of it in the gray light of the early morning, I thought I would just search my own blog to see how often I perseverate about the wretched stuff. Turns out kind of often, and especially on Fridays. From a brief glance, I can see that I may even be a bit of a whiner. Something about it makes me bitterly, and coldly, angry.
Anyway, I finished the Great Clothes Change Over of 2019, so now I can begin the long winter task of picking up snow suits and mittens and hats off the floor in one endless procession of snowstorms that usually begin sometime in January, but because God is so angry with the world, are starting in November when a lot of the leaves are still on the trees.
There goes the snow plow, back and forth, back and forth.
I finished Nora Ephron’s book last night, the I Hate My Neck one. That brings me up to 50 books so far this year. I have been straining towards the outlandish goal of 60 but I think it might be just beyond my reach. Can I really read ten books in a month and a half? Or listen to them? I have four in the works right now. It will be quite a push—and during the busiest season of the year no less.
The thing that I always like to do, when I set a goal of some kind, which I have been habitually doing for the last five years or so, is, when I don’t meet it, instead of saying to myself, ‘but look, you’ve read 50 whole books’—which would be one way of looking at it, but by no means, I think, the best way—to instead lament, ‘blast it all, how horrible to come so close and then to fail.’ This spurs me on to self-flagellation and pride, two things I’m already really good at.
Anyway, Nora Ephron’s neck book was light and easy, which is what I need as I’m drifting off to sleep, and also pretty interesting in an outmoded sort of way. She seems to have lived the life of charm promised by the sexual revolution—well appointed apartment in NYC, acclaimed journalism career that falls elegantly and naturally into screen-writing, kitchen full of lovely flood, bespoke desk piled with bits of paper and books, a flitting in and out of marriages with ease and unconcern. By the time life had gotten really expensive for the whole world she had made enough money to keep enjoying it. The tragedy of broken relationships, of poverty creeping up to the door, of disappointments and failures doesn’t appear on the page—thank goodness, because if it had I would have totally put it down because that’s not the kind of book I was trying to read. Only in the last chapter does she nod her head at death, acknowledging that grave specter, that sure and certain problem for which there is no solution.
I found myself wondering about her husbands and children, about the hints of grief that she mercifully passes by, the ugliness of death that looms over her bright and cheery prose. I mean, not wondering very much. I’m sure I can guess. Everyone’s life, in one way or another, is a total tragedy.
Mine sure is. Stupid wretched snow.
*If Nora Ephron can write a book called I Feel Bad About My Neck, it’s only fair that I should write a hundred blog posts called I Hate The Snow.