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Genesis of a Historical Novel

Monday, September 10, 2007

summer delights--at last

Summer has belatedly arrived, with clear skies and sun bearing down. I seem to recall the first few weeks of school being that way. I never minded particularly, since I enjoy good weather from indoors as well as out, and I've always been at rather a loose end in the fine weather anyway. Even as a young child I looked off our back deck on sunny summer days over the dusty quiet of the neighborhood. Friends were on vacation, the park was vacant. There seemed to be endless possibilities, and yet--what to do? I recall a feeling of nervous anticipation, as though something were expected of me.

That feeling stuck with me on into young adulthood. The main summer feeling, for me, has been one of solitude. In my mid-20s, on days off work, I would launch myself from my basement suite or apartment on long walks through the city. I recognized the splendor and beauty of the swishing trees and the hazy greenish water of the beaches, but felt apart from all the summer barbecuing, sunbathing, and restaurant-going of the people around me. I felt alienated. It seemed that others knew how to enjoy summer fully, but I didn't. There was some kind of cosmic fun and relaxation that I was missing out on.

I no longer feel that way. For not only do I now have companionship in my life, but I do not envy others' seeming enjoyment of their leisure. I have come to realize that what most people find fun and enjoyable I simply do not. Beach parties, house parties, nightclubs, staying up late and getting drunk--no thanks. To me, all those things are more or less desperate attempts to have fun, or attempts to convince oneself that one is having a good time. I suspect that deep in many people's hearts is the nagging doubt that I've felt: that they are somehow missing out, that others are, somehow, enjoying life more.

Now I know what fun is for me. I ask for no higher, indeed for no other, form of entertainment than a good informative book, a fresh highlighter, and a quiet afternoon in my own house. If sunshine comes in to brighten the room, as it did yesterday as I read, then so much the better.

On Friday I bought new computers (yes, plural) at a store nearby where they build them from scratch and customize them, as well as selling used and "reconditioned" ones. Today I take in this old Dell box to have most of its contents transferred to the new PC. I will get online again as soon as I can.

Enjoy the remainder of summer.

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