I have been reading again. Not a lot, but some. I’ve been carrying around Best New American Voices 2003, with guest editor Joyce Carol Oates, and slowly the stories in that book are taking me apart. Yesterday I read a story about a man working in an AIDS hospice home who is diagnosed HIV positive in the middle of the story, and then a story about a Vietnamese child whose parents are both considered reactionaries and he ends up being beaten with a belt in front of a school assembly, and then apologizing for his family. The day before was a kid whose family was falling apart. Today, the story of a sniper making his first kill. More grisly (grislier?) than C.S.I. And in between there’s a story I skipped because I caught on to it too quickly and didn’t want to go any further.
The nice thing about these stories is that every one is teaching me what I like and what I don’t. It’s also the bad thing. If I never again read a phrase like “I smoothed my hand down my red wool sweater,” I will be a happier girl.
I used to be pretty undiscriminating about what I’d read. I would read crap, airplane junk, NYT paperback bestsellers where the guy solves the crime and gets the girl and never wrinkles his tailored suit. I want nothing to do with any of that — at least for right now.
Also, today, saw Lord of War, theater view #51 of the year. And last night I saw Labyrinth, and today I finished Secretary. I should say more about all, but, I don’t know, I’m not there yet. Nicolas Cage is not an attractive man, particularly, but he wears suits well.