Monday, January 26, 2009

Life in a Russian Novel

I pulled a muscle between my ribs coughing last week (note to self: coughing and bike-riding = bad combination). Then, while doing a last-minute grocery run, I managed to pull it even MORE, so that now it feels a) rotten, like a bad spot on an apple and b)painful as hell. Also, our furnace is making this high-pitched screaming sound. Also, it's snowy and cold. So I'm hobbling around our house, past our leaky, sweating, STUPID windows, the ambient air filled with a constant shreeeee, ever so often gripping the edge of a table or chair so that I can give a hacking cough without shrieking in pain. Although I think the jury is out on whether this position actually HELPS. So I'm starting to feel like I'm in some sort of novel about the existential hell of everyday life. Except, maybe, for the dialogue.

(Helen: "This candy tastes like a COLOR!"
Me: "Like what color, honey?"
Helen: "Like brown SUGAR!"
Later, Helen: "It tastes like applecots."
Me: "Mmmm.")

And let me tell you, reading TWO Russian novels at one time, while at the same time struggling with budgetary issues, is not really a good idea for your mental health. I tend to read my books in rooms, so in the bedroom I have adultery, betrayal, self-sabotage (yeah, GREAT marital-bed reading), while at the breakfast table I've got poverty, debt, murder, and madness. The debt stuff is killing me, too. I'm not even able to distance myself properly: instead of saying to myself how GREAT it is that Hub has a job, and is not losing it because he's out drinking all the time, and I don't have consumption, and I don't have to wash the laundry by hand at night while hacking away consumptively because we are completely out of changes of underwear--no, instead of being grateful, I start thinking about how FAR we could potentially fall. Nice. Thanks, Dostoevsky.

(Though, I AM glad that I am not tormented by fantasies of murdering pawn shop owners. I mean, Raskolinov could have prevented all sorts of trouble by just doing a little more positive thinking, wouldn't you say so?)

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