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Sunday, December 8, 2002

There's really no excuse for me to stay home all day Sunday. I can drive in weekend holiday traffic without ramming into anyone, and my car starts almost every time I turn the ignition key. The weather is, if not summery, at least not wintry. Or wintery, for that matter. And I do have places to go and things to do.

There's no excuse except that's what I want to do, and I'm pretty much in charge of what I want to do only on weekends. At least that's the thinking that goes into spending Sunday doing nothing. The best laid plans, though...

Things were fine most of the day. I watched some football, checked online for the latest baseball transactions, and spend a lot of time in the afternoon reading in the loft. I was finishing The Floatplane Notebooks, by Clyde Edgerton. It's another humorous look at life in North Carolina, with an unexpected serious turn in the last third of the book.

And I would have finished it if the fax hadn't stirred to life at four o'clock this afternoon, just before it was about to get too dark to read. It was a three-page letter the Boss wanted me to type. Now, I know he doesn't expect me to work on a Sunday evening, but I'm not at my best Monday morning, so I thought the smartest thing to do would be to start typing and just get it done.

That plan didn't take into account the endless revisions and corrections that were sure to follow. But then a miracle happened. I "forgot" (no, really, I just forgot) to fax the letter back to the Boss, once I'd typed it. I was upstairs reading the last chapter when I realized it. I know I should have run down and put the letter on the fax, but something devilish in me kept me reading. It was sinfully delicious.

It turned into a contest between those last few pages and the dimming light of the setting sun. I'm a slow reader, and I refuse to race through such evocative prose. It would be shameful, like skimming a poem. You lose the whole point of reading literature that way. It's okay for a text book or a technical manual, but you don't do that with something you want to savor.

There's always a deceptive sharpness to Edgerton's fiction, turning what seems to be a languid family history into pointed social commentary, without the reader even realizing it's happening. It's definitely not something to be rushed, or you lose the subtleties of language and character hidden in every phrase.

I reached the last paragraph at just about the same time my vision was about to fade. It was the perfect confluence, and a good ending to a Sunday afternoon.


A few dandelions remain in the side yard.

After finishing the book I trotted downstairs and dutifully faxed off the letter in the dark. Then I turned on some lights and had the delightful chore of deciding what I'm going to read next. I just hope I get a chance to start it tomorrow afternoon. Mondays are so very different from Sundays.

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Latest recommendations:

Dorothy, Love, Curiosity, Freckles, and Doubt, December 1, Culture Shock

Carol, Suicide Blonde, December 8, Liberated?

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I met a man who lives in Tennessee and he was heading for
Pennsylvania and some homemade pumpkin pie.