Bitter disappointment and the hope of recompense

It was a sickeningly sunny Saturday, and I wanted to go outside. Specifically, I wanted to go outside and read my book.

But duty called, and I could not succumb to the call of the (not very) wild.

"I will work and work," I said to myself, "and I will finish those things which must be done, and then I will reward myself by going outside and lounging in the cool green grass (well, I’d actually like to be insulated from the grass proper by a nice insect-proof blanket) and reading a book and perhaps even falling asleep."

(If you read the blog this weekend, you know this already.)

So: I cranked out my tasks accordingly, took a shower (for, Dear Reader, I was frightfully stinky), dried my hair, applied only the tiniest titch of makeup so as to make myself fit for public consumption, put on a cunning flared denim skirt that seemed to offer the perfect blend of unfettered lounging and necessary modesty, found my book, dusted off my book, rounded up the troops, discovered Jim didn’t know where his keys were, offered to drive since I knew where my keys were, and headed out the door. We drove up to Washington Park and rounded the corner to the "Elephant Playground" (so called by my kids because it is directly next to the old Elephant House; in reality, I think it’s called something like the Lions Club Playground; at any rate, it is a terrific playground).

And my heart sank. For the entire playground, being located in this famously lushly forested park*, was mired in deep deep shadow. There would be no lying in the sun for me here.

Jim suggested going somewhere else. I thought it would be (a) silly to drive around trying to find a sunny park, and (b) mean to not let the kids go to their favoritest park in all of Portland just because Mama wants to pretend she’s lounging on the shore at Capri. So, spirit somewhat dimmed, I went to fetch my book from the back seat.

It wasn’t there.

It wasn’t in the front seat. It wasn’t in the back of the car. It was, I realized with a sickening jolt, still sitting on the dining room table at our house where I had set it down to retrieve my keys from the pegboard where, being a conscientious person, I always always hang them.

Yes, it was petty; but yes, it was all I could do not to cry a little bit. I think a tear may have welled up despite my best efforts.

You would really have to know just how awful of a mood I’d been in for days, and how much I was looking forward to that hour of blissful reading, and how it had dangled jujube-like before me as I worked my little tailfeathers off, to understand why I would react so frankly childishly.

But there was nothing to be done, and so I attempted to make do with the iPod (for which the only "headphones" available were the six-inch-corded earbuds that came with Jim’s phone). It was a poor, poor second place.

So today, while Jim goes and gets two new tires for the BLT (we had a spectacular blowout on the freeway yesterday… that’s another story), I’m going to repair to Powell’s all. by. my. lonesome. And sell some books, and have their value added to the card I’ve had since before we moved to Portland, and then buy some books to add to the ever-growing To Be Read pile. And then maybe I’ll walk over to Jamison Square and read one of them in the remarkably persistent sunshine.

Today’s 20-Word Review:
Absurdistan, Gary Shteyngart
Vulgar, profane, hilarious. Confederacy of Dunces meets Still Life with Woodpecker in post-Soviet Russia. Plus: white men rap!

*but not Forest Park. That’s a whole ‘nother place, and a damned fine one.


About Molly Newman

Writer, cook and trivia/spelling bee hostess, living it up in North Portland.
This entry was posted in Books, Portland. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Bitter disappointment and the hope of recompense

  1. Doc says:

    You couldn’t find a sunny spot in ALL of Washington Park? The Archery Range is usually in full sun most of the day. And rarely are there any archers there…

  2. RedMolly says:

    Yes, the soccer field down from the playground was nice and sunny… but I didn’t want to leave the kids to play by themselves. They’re a wee bit young and irresponsible yet.

  3. Melissa I. says:

    I think I would’ve cried.
    I hope you got some sun-drenched reading in today…

  4. Lori V. says:

    I’m so sorry you didn’t get your read on, Molly! 😦
    BTW, you have me ALMOST convinced to take the plunge and read my very first fantasy novel. I’ll have to take your “good” list to Half Price Books when I go next.
    Hope today was brighter for you!

  5. Lill Hawkins says:

    I almost cried for you. And now I’m going to turn off my computer, go up and find out if my kids fed themselves, have a quick lunch, a quick nap, and then go out on the deck with a drink and a Terry Pratchett book that I’m re-reading while I impatiently wait for his new book to come out on Sunday. I’ll be wearing thick sweatpants, a flannel shirt and a hooded sweatshirt and carrying a garden hose, of course. It’s sunny, but this is Maine, so there’s also a forty knot gale and a skunk lurking under the deck. It sleeps during the day, but if it wakes up in a cranky mood, I figure maybe I can spray it before it sprays me like it sprayed my cat, who keeps trying to chat it up. They’re both black and white, so maybe that’s the attraction for poor Benny. I hope you have many more sunny days, but I lived in Tacoma for a year, so I don’t think you should waste any.
    Shine On,

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