Yesterday I received a couple of books that I had ordered online, both memoirs, both by writers that are now no longer with us, one that that written by a man who knew he was facing death. It was this book I started as I had been waiting a while to read it since I caught an extract in The New Yorker.
The book is a lot smaller than I thought it would be – although written as it was by a man who had limited time that is not surprising. After walking the dogs and feeding them, I opened the foreword to read a little.
I was still reading when my husband came home an hour later. It was St Patrick’s day, so he had a number of hilarious videos to share from his social media feeds. After having posted on the blog, I had been determined to ignore the Internet, because I was really enjoying the book, so had ignored his messages largely. Now he was home and thrusting his Ipad in front of me. I put the book down and spent some quality time with my spouse.
An hour later, he still was not in bed. He leaves for work early and gets up at a time most of us consider the middle of the night. This means that most nights he goes to bed before me, leaving me with at least an hour without the TV blaring out a stream of shouty ads, interrupted occasionally by slithers of a British Crime procedural. Tonight, though, like an evil child, he seemed to sense my need for alone time and resolutely stayed up well past the time he would normally be tucked up. Finally, I gave up and went to read on the bed. The annoying thing was that this book, though beautifully written, was relatively short and was pretty much the length I would have been able to read in one sitting, before I got married but there was no way I was going to be able to finish it that night.
My husband appeared in the doorway, ‘I will be there in a minute,’
Of course he would.
I got up and moved back to the living room as he bedded down. Now at least I would get a run at the book. The fatigue started washing over me. I hate having to get up early, it buggers me absolutely. I was only about halfway through and could barely keep my eyes open. I finished part one and figured that it would be the place to break off – that I might get a chance to finish it today.
Nope. Everytime I picked the book up, I would be disturbed – admittedly for the most part this was during the working day, so technically my reading was interrupting the work by now but around lunch time, I found myself in the city having finished a meeting and waiting for a couple of colleagues who were at a second one.
I had brought the book with me. It fell open at the bookmarked page.
I looked up to see a colleague I had not seen in ages who had recently been transferred to the city. She had been on a lunch break, was on her way back to the office and had spotted me reading on the steps outside.
We chatted for nearly fifteen pages – I mean fifteen minutes until the other two arrived back and we headed back to our base.
I got a few more pages in before walking the dogs after work, but gave up after I felt Lucy’s stare threatening to burn a hole in its cover. Then dinner with my parents and now the gap as I sit and wait for my husband to go to bed again. He yawns, loudly, but that means nothing, it is just a means to remind me he is there. And my book is also there, three quarters of it finished, but sadly unlikely to be completed until tomorrow when I have the house to myself again.
Where is Zebedee when I need him? Boinnngggggg! Time for bed.