YES. It is summer and I am ripping through pages of fiction and fact with reckless abandon. I recently finished Humble Pie by Gordon Ramsay and Out Stealing Horses by Per Peterson. Now I am well into The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz.
I read Ramsay and Peterson in quick succession and, although I am a big Gordon Ramsay fan, Peterson was the obvious stand-out. Ramsay writes in a way that is very predictable if you have watched him on television or read any of his cookbooks. It is very straightforward and explanatory. He is a chef.
Peterson is an author. A Norwegian author. His writing works its way into my brain and makes me want to visit a wicked winter wasteland that I have never seen before.
Time is important to me now, I tell myself. Not that it should pass quickly or slowly, but be only time, be something I live inside and fill with physical things and activities that I can divide it up by, so that it grows distinct to me and does not vanish when I am not looking.
What he had taught me was to be reckless, taught me that if I let myself go, did not slow myself down by thinking so much beforehand I could achieve many things I would never have dreamt possible.
So the feeling of pleasure slips into the feeling that time has passed, that it is very long ago, and the sudden feeling of being old.
The windows are lighted, and I can see his shoulders in the yellow frame and the back of his head without a grey hair yet and the television on at the far end of the room. He is watching the news. I don't know when I last watched the news. I did not bring a television set out here with me, and I regret it sometimes when the evenings get long, but my idea was that living alone you can soon get stuck to those flickering images and to the chair you will sit on far into the night, and then time merely passes as you let others do the moving. I do not want that. I will keep myself company.
[T]hat the difference between talking and not talking is slowly wiped out, that the unending, inner conversation we carry on with ourselves merges with the one that we have with the few people we still see, and when you live alone for too long the line which divides the one from the other becomes vague, and you do not notice when you cross that line.
Quotations from Out Stealing Horses by Per Peterson (London: Vintage Books, 2006). Image from Google Images.