Friday, October 21, 2011

Late-Night Peace

It's yet another evening in which I've finished yet another book, Sixpence House: Lost in a Town of Books by Paul Collins. It's yet another evening in which I've started yet another book, Sleepless Nights by Sarah Bilston, the sequel to Bed Rest, which I read on Tuesday. And yet it's not just another night. If it were, there would be another day of my dad and Meridith going to work at La Mesa. But tonight backs up to tomorrow, Saturday, the weekend. The routine of the standard workweek is pushed away for two days. What shall we do? I need more bananas, but that's the extent of my weekend desires. Books are here, I've still got this week's episode of Hart of Dixie and four episodes of The Good Wife on the TiVo, and three questions comes to mind: Hart of Dixie and the season premiere of The Good Wife tonight? Or more of my Supreme Court hobby, watching the interview Charlie Rose conducted with retired Justice John Paul Stevens, and watching on YouTube what Stephen Breyer has had to say over the years? Or should I just chuck it all here in the living room, scurry to my room, and spend until 2 a.m. watching Travels with My Aunt for the fifth time, with one eye, while reading Sleepless Nights?

I don't know. And I'm content with not knowing, because I have what's left of Friday night, my favorite part of the week. In Pembroke Pines, Florida, coming back to our condo in Grand Palms toward a late Friday afternoon after Silver Trail Middle, and then Flanagan High, and then Hollywood Hills High, the sun took on this golden glow that was only apparent on that day, and it felt as if the universe was completely aligned, that everything in my piece of the world contributed to those moments after I got out of the car and noticed it and just stood there, amazed. Every time.

One of the only things I'll give Southern California credit for is that they know how to do sunsets. Every single sunset is special, no matter where you go, and there's one of those for every day of the week. I think it's because the sky seems wider here than it is in Florida. And it's not so much what the fading sunlight touches as it goes down (although it surprisingly gives depth to parts of Santa Clarita that have about as much depth as a frozen lake), but how it goes down. It looks like it hesitates, like it's not quite ready to go, but it knows that it has to because that's the way of the world, and it's slowly mulling over these opposite ends, while gradually accepting the inevitable. It must depart. The moon must rise.

I don't hold out much hope for weekends here. There's nothing we could possibly do that we haven't done already in eight years. And what we have done is either not worth doing again or in comparison to Las Vegas, well, it's not worth doing again. Plus, money for potential weekend excursions is best saved up for Vegas. Not to gamble necessarily (I'm a pussy gambler anyway, content with meditation of a kind at a penny slot machine, vegging out while the reels, real or computer graphics, spin), but to explore everything that our new home offers. Today was a minimum day at La Mesa, so Meridith had time to lounge online and told me on the phone that the Heart Attack Grill, which serves 8,000-calorie quadruple burgers, among other vastly unhealthy offerings, and was profiled on CBS Sunday Morning, opened on Wednesday at Neonopolis in Downtown Las Vegas ( This opens, and I'm still waiting for a White Castle. Yet there's many changes in Vegas every day, always something new to see, and always places to go back to. And I've no complaints about the weekend here only bringing about bananas. It just builds me up for when we go back to Vegas, and once we get back there permanently.

Ever since I rediscovered my passion for books, and saw clearly that it's my life, I've felt more peaceful. Not just in knowing most of who I am now (I always leave 10-15% as room to grow), but in the complete, boundless pleasure of reading. I'm always excited by the truth that I will never run out of anything to read. For the rest of my life, I have such a wealth of books to choose from. And I'm ok with not being able to read everything, because I don't want to read everything. I know what my interests are, such as with the presidents and the Supreme Court, I know what I'm always curious about, such as vending machines, flea markets, and Vegas and Nevada history; I know that I enjoy writing in novels that pulls me in right away and keeps me in those worlds and for some time after I'm done, and I know that doesn't encompass all books. And it's easy that way.

Despite what the time stamp says on the bottom, Saturday is gaining on Friday with three minutes left until midnight. The house is silent, Mom and Dad asleep and probably Meridith too, and I have no idea where the dogs are. They're not anywhere in the living room, so they might be with Meridith. And here I am, content. Life's nice like this, and I won't let it take any other form.


  1. I must have hopped in here mere minutes after you posted this, for it is just past midnight Friday as I type this. There's something undeniably wonderful about the mellow existence you describe here (and in other posts). It serves (as it has just now) to help me calm down a bit, for which I am appreciative. I can often get a bit manic, which always seems to feed upon itself, growing in intensity. I enjoy anything that helps to dissipate that.

    Anyway, hope you enjoy your book. By the way, you're not seriously contemplating a meal at the Heart Attack Grill, are you? O_O

  2. Oh good god no. It's like everything in Vegas when you're a resident (Which I hope will be soon enough): Moderation toward all, but rejection for that which is amusing for a moment, but would not benefit you in any way, healthwise especially. I still want my White Castle though. I don't know what the hell the company's waiting for. They could install themselves at New York-New York and people would come. I've no doubt the desire is there.

    I liked the concept of Bed Rest, about a British New Yorker confined to it for the last months of her pregnancy, so I'm hoping this is just as good. I was originally going to start The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry, but then this arrived in the mail, so I'll make an exception and read this and The Kitchen Daughter during the weekend and then go back to the fiction-nonfiction pushme-pullyou.

    I'm happy to have helped you find calmness again. And I'm happy to have it myself. It feels right.

  3. Beautifully written, Rory. See, David Wagner agrees with me about you. I am not alone.


  4. I'm just honored to be in such wonderful company as you two.