Too Many Victims

27 August 2001

Well, Timprov is done reading his submissions, and I feel much better. I don't think the two are directly linked, though. It was really good to hear from some of you telling me to get well. One of the things that bothered me most during my junior year of college was the feeling that nobody would notice if I was really sick. Before that, I was either at home or had a boyfriend or at least one Really Close Friend at college with whom I spent time every day. But at the beginning of my junior year, I had a lot of different friends who didn't communicate much with each other, and if I disappeared for the day, they would all assume I was with someone else. This would have been tolerable, except that I have a flair for dramatic illness (I don't want to! it's just that I pass out more easily than most!). So there were times when I really genuinely needed help with the basics of taking care of myself, and Michelle was the only one I was okay with asking. And despite her self-avowed beastly-hugeness, she's just too little to get me to and from the bathroom etc. if I'm really weak.

So I distinctly appreciate having people notice and care when I'm sick. The best thing is that Mark and Timprov are willing to take care of me, and I take care of them enough when I'm well that I don't feel badly about it. (I do feel like the juice run yesterday was a bit much: "Is there anything you think you can eat?" "Umm...white grape peach juice." "White grape peach juice?" "Yup." "Do you know a brand on that?" "No...Susan brought it to the birthday party." [Evidently they don't label bottles "Stuff Susan Brought To The Birthday Party." Go figure.] "Do you know where it can be found?" "Um, no...well...she might have said Safeway. But maybe somewhere else.")

I spent much of yesterday lounging and reading. Read Kim Newman's The Quorum. I think Faustian bargain stories only work well if the soul being sold looks like it's worth buying. I don't like it so much if the people are rather mediocre victims of the Devil. But maybe I'm just being too demanding of authors, because I then read Silverberg's Thorns, and while it was pretty well done, the underlying masochism of it disturbed me, and again, I had a hard time caring about the characters. They were too much victims. Too many victims! So then I started reading Nabokov's Invitation to a Beheading. And while it's interesting and worth reading so far, well, the main character is imprisoned and so far has been a passive victim of the life events he's relaying....

Right, then. I'm feeling better enough to go to the post office with the story a magazine rejected yesterday morning with the smarmiest rejection ever. They "celebrate the creative process." Whatever. Gag. But at least I got what I was asking for, so I'll stop begging for rejections now. I'll drop my library books off, but I don't plan to go to the library again until we get back from Nebraska. Have plenty of stuff to read, even for research, right here. Mark's biography of Turing took him forever and a year to read, so it'll hold me for awhile for research stuff for this book.

(Have I mentioned that I love this book? I do.)

My great grandmother collapsed last week, we just found out, and is in the hospital. She's been sick off and on for so long -- for as long as I can remember, really. And I feel really badly about it, that I no longer get in a dither when she's having a bad spell. It feels like it can go on like this forever. I know it can't, but it feels like it can. It feels like she's immortal, but immortally miserable. I felt like my other great grandmother, Gran, was going to outlive us all, too, but in a much happier way. I don't know. If Great Grandma Lingen was younger, it seems like she'd have been screaming, "Psych!" up at us a dozen different times. I don't know how to react any more. I feel concerned when she has her bad spells, but numb, I guess. As if they have no bearing on what actually happens to her. I know that's not true. It just gets to feel that way after awhile.

Anyway. I'm going to get to work, and get some chores done around here, and drink lots of fluids so that I feel enough better to do more work and more chores tomorrow. Sound good? Okay.

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