I don’t know if it’s the weather, the new to-the-penny financial stress (one wonders what the point of trying is, really) or scheduling hassles that are getting me down, but I’m down today. Actually, I think it may have begun sometime yesterday afternoon in a pale lilac shade, has slowly deepened more towards a violet, and now is well and truly blue. Part of it is the post-concert blues, of course. These are always especially bad after a concert as excellent as this past one, because there’s more of a high from which to tumble down. There will be a concert recap later today. Part of it is also the ongoing stress of waiting for paycheques that don’t come. Every day I think, Hey, today could be the day when there might actually be a cheque in the mailbox! and every day I’m disappointed.
I had a good day with the boy yesterday. We didn’t do the caregiver thing as is customary on Wednesdays because we knew he’d be up late on Tuesday and that he’d be off on Wednesday as a result. We paid the car registration (while we waited, the boy entertained himself by bringing me leaflets and saying, “Let’s read this book, Mama!” Sure, kid. How about I skip the words in the one entitled ‘In the Event of a Hit and Run’ and we just play the ‘identify this road sign’ game?), chased butterflies on the way back to the car, then went to the big book store to pick up a book I’ve been waiting for for months and months. (I now have my very own copy of Elizabeth Bear’s Ink & Steel, having finally tracked down a staff member in order to ask her to check in the back, because despite the computer insisting that there were two in stock there were none on the shelf. She returned reading the back cover copy and said, “Wow, this looks really good!” so I cheerfully did a reverse hand-sell of all Bear’s work to her. Nothing like selling to a book store employee. Good times.) The boy actually agreed to only look at the trains and not play with them, and he was very nearly true to his word. He very transparently steered me down an aisle and affected surprise when it opened up into the play area, saying, “Oh, look, Mama, the train table!” I let him put his train on it and run it around a bend before reminding him about our deal to go to the pet store to see the animals instead of playing with the trains, and he came quite willingly. So to the pet store we went and saw many many animals, including a very sweet Senegal parrot who quietly leaned its head against the bars and gazed into my eyes until I reached a fingertip in and scratched its head gently for a few minutes. It never took its eyes from mine. It broke my heart to eventually walk away.
After a lunch the boy went down for a nap (three hours! well, he didn’t get to bed until ten after the concert, so it wasn’t unusual, just very welcome). I fully intended to read Ink & Steel all afternoon but I’d only read the first couple of chapters when I realised I wasn’t in the right mood to do Bear’s work justice, and as I’d been waiting for The Stratford Man duology for so damn long I didn’t want to ruin the reading of it. I picked up Frank Conroy’s Body & Soul instead and read it cover to cover by bedtime. I somehow also managed to read all of Charlie Bone and the Hidden King. Go me; three books read this month by July 3.
I wish I didn’t feel so melancholy. My throat is swollen and my eyes are stinging for no particular reason. I should go light a whole bunch of candles. They’ll help take some of the water out of the air, too.