This is the year I'm finally managing to beat my 30-plus-year addiction to Coke (although truth be told, it was a Pepsi addiction all the way through college) and caffeine. I drank less than three cans of Coke in January and switched to decaf coffee, then unsweetened hot tea. In February I fell off the wagon after I got sick, buying 12-packs (which I rationed out, one can a day) and eschewing all unsweetened hot drinks, but I've gotten myself back in hand since then, drinking only an occasional can of Coke at work, or while dining out.
Last week while I was migraining, though, I whined enough to convince L. I needed a Coke to help me through the nausea. He brought home a two-liter. It's hard for me to ration a two-liter, especially when I have to deal with the DMV, and I drank like old times, swigging from the time I got up in the morning until the time I went to bed.
And I can't do that anymore. For two nights I couldn't get to sleep, I couldn't stay asleep. I finally reached the point that is at the heart of why I find it so difficult to weed my collection of books or to stop buying them: what if I wake up at 3 am in the morning and need that particular title?
Of course the particular title I needed at that moment happened to be a library book, but how can that undermine my book-hoardiness when it was a book I checked out last spring from the university library. I couldn't very well have gotten into the library at 3 am to reclaim it, now could I?
The book was Muriel Spark's The Comforters, which Spark fans at Readerville have claimed as their favorite. (Did any Slave actually read this one last summer? I think a couple may have intended to but never followed through.) I knew nothing else about the book, but I knew the time had come for me to read it.
The oddness of the characters and the focus on Catholicism quickly reminded me of Flannery O'Connor; I took this as a sign that I ought not postpone reading her for several weeks as I'd been intending and I began rereading Wise Blood over the weekend. And encountering a character in the Spark who hears a typewriter and a voice narrating her thoughts and experiences was a delightful bit of synchronicity since I had Stranger Than Fiction on hand to watch as well.
I'm also rereading Emma. I hope I have time to finish it before I'll need to start Lady Susan for the Slaves discussion at the end of the month, but I may need to set it aside for Jonathan Raban's Surveillance, which is due at the public library on the 27th and cannot be renewed.
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