May 12th, 2008


Things I Hardly Knew I Missed

I haven't had a hotel room to myself in ages. At a con, if I'm not with justbeast, I'm rooming with someone to save money. It's so strange, to be alone in this clean room that isn't really mine, but temporarily tolerates my presence. It's a calming thing, though isolating. I miss my beast, his constant presence, even when I am off arguing silly things on panels--the hotel room is where I am always grounded, always loved and known. So I have an instinctual response to such conglomerations of bed + table + desk + TV, but now the source of the love and grounding and knowing is not here, and it is just a strange space. But I still feel a little of that grace, even alone.

There is a little waterfall outside my window, and a river in the canyon below. I can hear rushing water all the time. We lost power today, and so I spent most of the afternoon reading and sleeping. I'm cooking for the lot tomorrow, and am slightly nervous, as Walter Jon Williams and Maureen McHugh have been on dinner duty so far, and produced kingly feasts. I hope I can not screw it up.

Many long conversations on books, the writing of them and the reading of them, have spooled out already. And when they stop, I feel like a poor kid at the candy store window who saved up all her money for one little toffee, but is still so hungry. I miss this. There was a time when this was a daily part of my life, talking about literature and criticism and what books should be and do and what we settle for and why. A time when books mattered so much to everyone I knew that to love them--more than love, to be devoted to them--was not an idiosyncrasy. It doesn't happen offline (the online world is wonderful, but it doesn't really satisfy, ultimately) too much these days, except with justbeast, or the occasional manifestation of an online person in the too-brief flesh. I hang with people who love books, but not really the kind of books I love, not the way I love them, and the joy I take in criticism and the apparatus of studying books is something I don't get to let out play at all anymore.  Geekdom comes in many flavors, and I have broadened my horizons in the last few years...and lost the sandbox, lost the safe and vibrant spaces I used to love to play in myself. This week is like being thrown into a mountain pool after being allowed one drop of water every day for five years. I'm just so stupidly grateful.
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