Sunday, February 03, 2008

big drama in lil oaktown!

Sooo, I have lived here for two days, mostly one, and much of that was not spent at home. How can there be drama already? Dios mio. It didn't involve me, but I was brought up to speed, shall we say, by one of the guys in the house after a nightttime visit to my friend at the world's cutest ice cream shop.

(butterscotch and chocolate, and tastes of other delicacies)

The space feels different and the darkness feels different, would be what I have to say so far about being here in Oakland again. Mostly right now, though, all I want to do is sleep and I think it's some sort of response to stress. I got up at ten and then napped for a good couple hours this afternoon and I'm cozy in bed already.

In truth, though, I'm falling in love with reading again, and I'm not sure if I can convey the deliciousness of feeling cozy and safe in bed at home again (oh, and let's not forget warm!). It could be better if I had a warm body beside me, certainly, but my ears don't have to prick up for the footfalls of the old landlady or the yapping of small chihuahua dogs. I have had my guard up for a long time, almost all the time, and it is very exhausting, so perhaps that explains the sleep.

The book this time is Jane Smiley's Horse Heaven, a book I resisted reading for a long time because, cmon, it sounds like a book for horsey teenaged girls (or boys). Jane Smiley is a treat in the ironic, slightly embittered and witty way that is not really cynical enough to be in fashion right now. She is an Iowan, a reedy woman with big glasses and a small, tight frame who, improbably, went to Vassar, and I got to see her read there a number of years ago. One of the most intriguing things for me about Horse Heaven is how this woman can write so knowledgeable about the racetracks of California or Florida or the specifics of horse betting, training, horse care, all of it done from the various perspectives of owners, trainers, jockeys, trophy wives. I adore fiction that aims to be so much larger than life. I have always been attracted to multiplicity, to the perspective that doesn't quite fit, to the demolition of the idea of the box. I want the world to be large enough for stories that don't fit inside the frame, for stories with longing to be more than might contain them. It's time to turn my energies to writing again, with the house drama mostly behind me.

No comments: