read-a-thon :: inside Hour 10
Another 51 (somewhat laborious, but incredibly enjoyable) pages down…. I’m feeling a bit groggy as I switch seats to write this post. The lack of sleep from last night is finally beginning to bear down. But I don’t plan to push through the entire 24 hours, so I’m determined to continue for at least another 3-5. I’m going to take a break from the book, though, for this shift and do some encouragement posting around the blogosphere. Before I do, here is my favorite passage from the chapters I just completed. Boy, did this hit home for my once-27-year-old-self! (emphasis, in bold, is the kicker)
She owns furniture. At twenty-seven she is too old to live like a student anymore, and she now owns a bed, a large wrought-iron and wicker-work affair bought in the summer sales from a colonial-themed store on the Tottenham Court Road. Branded the ‘Tahiti’ it occupies the whole bedroom of her flat. The duvet is goosedown, the sheets are Egyptian cotton which is, the saleswoman informed her, the very best cotton known to man, and all of this signifies a new era of order, independence and maturity. On Sunday mornings she lounges alone on the Tahiti as if it were a raft, and listens to Porgy and Bess and Mazzy Star, old Tom Waits, and a quaintly crackling vinyl album of Bach’s Cello Suites. She drinks pints of coffee and writes little observations and ideas for stories with her best fountain pen on the linen-white pages of expensive notebooks. Sometimes, when it’s going badly, she wonders if what she believes to be a love of the written word is really just a fetish for stationery. The true writer, the born writer, will scribble words on scraps of litter, the back of bus tickets, on the wall of a cell. Emma is lost on anything less than 120gsm.
But at other times she finds herself writing happily for hours, as if the words had been there all along, content and alone in her one-bedroom flat. Not that she’s lonely, or at least not very often. Instead she visits independent cinemas and galleries with friends…. At twenty-seven, Emma wonders if she’s getting old. She used to pride herself on her refusal to see two sides of an argument, but increasingly she accepts that issues are more ambiguous and complicated than she once thought. Shouldn’t she have an opinion, take a side, boycott something? At least with apartheid you knew where you stood. Now there’s a war in Europe and she has personally done absolutely nothing to stop it. Too busy shopping for furniture. (One Day — Chapter Six: “Chemical”, pp 114-115)