The trouble with me and vacations is that I rarely have enough space in my luggage to bring enough books to read. I only brought four books: Game Change, Bergdorf Blondes, Crossroads of Twilight, and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. And that, right there, synthesizes my entire reading preferences, right? A political book, a chick-lit, a fantasy novel, and a hot-shot author. I also bought the Vogue with Tina Fey on the cover, because I had to, you understand.
I planned on reading all four and a half tomes. Instead, I read only 100 pages of Crossroads and that's it. An endless round of clubs (dance and graphite,) sleeping, shopping, and eating ensued. And by endless, I mean completely voluntary attendance. Exits and entrances based on our timetables, not nap times. A two and a half hour lunch at a french restaurant, seated on the patio, sunglasses perched on noses, the finches eating our baguette crumbs. We didn't really have to get up and move, but at some point, we felt like it. And when we felt like it, we forsook karaoke for the hot tub and streaming video to the flat screen.
Sometimes, one of us would let out a string of "Mom, mom, mom, mommy, mom, mom, mommy, mommy..." and then collapse in laughter. There were entire bathroom episodes without a single knock and no fingers under doors. There may have been moments of gold and there were flashes of light. But mostly, it was calm. The kind of calm that is broken only by laughter and dance music. "Are you OK?" Phread asked me as we walked along the shop windows. I hadn't said anything in a while, probably not even cracked a smile, I'd just been.
"Yes," I answered.
When I get to be by myself I can be quiet, calm, and not talk. I do that at home after everyone has gone to bed and the night wraps me up in happy silence. And I got to do that with people near me, during sunlight, and everyone was perfectly awake. No decisions or places to be, no plans. So when I had the time to read, I'd cradle the book in my hand, and I'd sit, in silence, and stare towards a horizon. Reading is my usual escape, and what do you do when you're already escaped?