Gidd heads and afternoon men

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Charles is off in Raleigh again and not apt to make it home tonight. The wearily regular complications of a sleepless night, a resected intestine and migraine.

Sometimes my beloved is afraid I resent his griping and bitching. Understandable. People have left lovers, parents, even children. Thankfully for Charlesí well-being and my own self-respect I donít feel impatient, just helpless. I do think heíd suffer less if heíd regulate some of his bad habits. Admittedly giving shape to what was barely more than a series of random impulses will be slow and arduous.

Some mornings I do feel selfish. I like to flex and stretch my nervous system, get ready for the chores and necessaries of being alive. Now that Iíve weaned myself away from the computer I like to read for an hour or two. When Charles gets up and isnít feeling well I canít just sit on the porch surrendered to a book. So I get up and go sit with him. We often donít talk; my being there is a way of saying that I care. Part of me wants to be outside reading.

The zigging and zagging journal entries are born of a pent-up need to commune with myself. I just do it in public, like the crazy people you see walking down the street muttering animatedly to themselves. And I donít think the CIA is beaming death rays at me. Even our public pests have better ways to spend their time.

I take a half-solipsistic joy in my own company. Growing up as a solitary, a loner, an outsider if I may use a badly handled word, gives you that bent. But the joy is easily exhausted or I wouldnít live with, wouldnít need Charles. My half hour with the journal spend Iíll be wishing he were here and go to sleep in a recliner because I never sleep in our bed when heís away.

The big kick of my day was selling a beat-up paperback on ďreal out-of -the-body experiences and vampirismĒ for $40.00. Looks like commonplace loony trash but it is hard to find so the dedicated truth-seeker has to be willing to pay.

Alternately with cataloging and waiting on customers I read Martin Amisí London Fields. The novel is variously brilliant and tendentious. It wasnít until Iíd read four or five of his novels that I realized how well he writes. I was reading Dead Babies when I found myself thinking it took a lot of nerve to write that sentence. (I donít keep most books Iíve read so I canít give you an example.) Of course you only think that if the writer has the talent to pull it off. Otherwise you dismiss him as a pretentious shit and close the book.

The best of Amisí language in London Fields confirms I think what Iíve been suspected was at least partly at the root of my preference for English writers. Many of them grew up reading poetry and drama from the last several centuries. It gives the best of them a breadth of diction that Americans ordinarily donít have. That doesnít make them better writers but more to my taste.

Otherwise Iíve been reading books written in our about the 17th Century. Iíve promised myself Iíll finally finish Robert Burtonís The Anatomy Of Melancholy. Having finished the hundred-page preface Iíve only about nine-hundred pages to go. I see that the New York Review of Books has reprinted it in its Classics series. Dr. Johnson said it was the only book that he got out of bed early to read. Funny, digressive as hell, one of the most allusive books ever written, earthy, every page affords at least one smile.

When I read

He was a mad man that said it, and thou as mad peradventure to read it.

I couldnít help but smile and think of this journal.

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Gidd heads and afternoon men
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