Dear Darling Ones,
I have just finished reading Sally Rooney’s new novel Beautiful World, Where Are You, and wow does she know how to write a book. She’s an Irish writer who crafts these novels where not a lot happens. When you try to describe them they sound utterly boring, and yet when you finish reading them your brain is mush, your heart hurts a little, and you feel a little dazed like, what in the hell just happened.
Rooney writes quiet books about people who have vast inner-turmoil and mostly mundane lives and shitty boyfriends and interesting sex. It’s the quietness of her books that makes me realize how much I expect all art I consume to have capital B-big capital D-drama. Where is the assault, the affair, the death, the cheating, the scam, the betrayal. I expect it to arrive in the very next scene or sentence.
What else can there be worth reading if not Big Drama? As you may remember, I was recently castigated for not bringing enough drama. Yes, I am bitter. It’s as though I didn’t spend the last year cutting a vein and sharing so many dark corners for an entire god damn year. Fuck that.
Rooney’s book was a nice reminder that things can be dramatic and feel dramatic without all the drama, and that there’s a lot of beauty in the mundane.
Take today, for instance. Until I got all hopped up and angry about that shitty comment from August, I was having the most lovely day.
- I woke up late. I folded and put away laundry while listening to my imaginary boyfriend Rob Harvilla’s podcast.
- I had donuts for breakfast.
- I made bold statements on Twitter about “Misery” by Soul Asylum being the most GenX song of all songs and then I argued about how right I am. Seriously, go listen to the song & watch the video. The factory making Misery CDs? COME ON! This song is GenX in musical form.
- I tossed together a sausage & white bean soup and put it in the crockpot.
- I ate chocolate chip cookies and drank coffee while listening to my Spotify new releases playlist, and then promptly pre-ordered the Adia Victoria record.
- I wrote the start of this list in my planner so I would remember it next time I have a bad day.
- I had a meeting with a new client where we discussed people we had in common and I got to say about my (twice) former boss Mark, “He’s a smart, kind, and creative man.”
- I laid on the couch sniffing the slowly cooking soup and finishing the Sally Rooney book.
- Later I will east soup and watch Nirvana Unplugged to honor the 30th Anniversary of “Nevermind” and I will think fondly of the 90s and a young man named Tony.
- And even later still I will start reading the biography of my imaginary boyfriend John Cougar Mellencamp.
It’s been a lovely day, Darling Ones, and these days are the hardest to share. There was nothing spectacular. Nothing dramatic. No heartbreak or falling in love. It was just a day absent of angst and loneliness where my own company was enough and I took care of myself in the best ways possible.
Thank you for listening to it,