I’ve never really figured out this ‘living in the now’ thing.
For the first 25 years of my life I lived in the future. I’ve hoped, and imagined, and ‘rode through’ the parts I couldn’t quite handle until I could reach the next stop.
Now, I mostly leave in the past. The hopes have left, so did the strength look for new steps and beginnings to jump to. Instead came the flashes of suddenly being transferred into some location I walked many years before, and very likely won’t ever have a chance to set my foot in ever again. I can smell things, I can taste things, I can see myself standing in the places that are probably long gone from the face of this Earth and I wish they weren’t. I have hardly any memories of things that happened, of things said and done, but I can walk the places I haven’t seen for almost 20 years with startling clarity.
Since today happens to be ones of those days in a year when my apartment is to be invaded by inspectors of one kind or other that happens once a few months (water pipes, fire alarms, whatever they can come up with),
and I had to spend my weekend trying to pretend that I’m not a child of chaos and autism, and can actually keep my living quarters presentable enough for strangers to barge in and not stare in shock,
I’ve also been watching Netflix while trying to clean, which left me with a thought that I might have an easier time with living if I could convince myself that I was watching some weird Science Fiction every time I watch…practically anything.
It might save me from all the flinching and dread I feel each time when I watch something about humans and realize I can’t comprehend, can’t identify, and can’t feel any affinity.
It also made me sit and think about how I wish I could know what other humans feel when they watch other humans.
When you’re someone who (or in a stage) reads 20-30 books monthly (and also has trouble finding books that your sick and tired psyche can handle atm, so ends up discarding half as much as ‘read later when I have the right mood’, thus creating 80-90 book TBR piles on the top of your bookshelf), while also living in a small Tokyo apartment and not in an ancient castle with 2-floor library, opting for doing it through an ebook reader should be a no-brainer. The most logical, easiest option. The only acceptable option, some even would insist… Not only it would save you from struggling to find a space to store all your books, but also, kindle versions are very often come 5-15 dollars cheaper than buying paper books (not to mention sometimes having to pay for shipping to Japan, though having Prime helps). Why, sometimes, they are even free on kindle. So, really, a no-brainrer. Or it should be. …Unless you are also an aspie to whom the sensory experience of reading a book (holding it, touching the paper, smelling the paper, feeling exactly how much you’ve progressed) is as important as reading the words on a page and without it reading is not reading, and your brain actually misses chunks of content when you’re reading from an e-reader (tried and confirmed multiple times). Then all bets are off and you can only improve your ‘finding places to put bookshelves’ game and hope he floor doesn’t give up during the next earthquake. Or in general.
Just as the previous one, this book continued to do this weird thing of hitting precisely the points I find very close and like a lot (the ostrich behavior, the structure of the relationship between the main characters, the unconditional love-friendship importance, Kitten, ASD qualities, etc.) and precisely the points I really hate very much (stilettos and women’s shoes, stockings, men who try to dress up women, women who find idiotic reasons to care about people opening doors for them, etc.). Similarly to constantly randomly mixing things I love and hate, it also constantly mixes elements that could belong in a silly-almost-childish ‘girly’ fiction (wedding, fashion, girlfriends…not as much the topics as the way they are written about) with things belonging in more serious adult fiction (crime, mental disorders, broken families, real-life assholes). It’s a fun and uplifting book on one side. The relationships are written especially well, and there are many things here that are worth stopping to think about for a few moment. And I’m giving it 4 stars on my bookshelf because of it, …though, if I am to be really honest and remember the number of times the ‘female’ stuff in here made me gag (practically every time fashion and clothes/shoes came into focus, and the whole discussion of men opening doors for women, plus some of the behavioral decisions), I’d probably end up rating this book much lower. Good thing I’m so good at pretending that things I didn’t like weren’t there.
This book wasn’t really what I expected it to be. The cover-description combination made me imagine something lighter/sillier, somewhere closer to a young adult/new adult comedy with some romance sprinkles. In fact it’s a bit more serious than that, deals with adult enough lives and concepts, though it still is neither heavy not explicit in any way. The weakness of this book lies in the fact that it seems to crumble some of its plot details a bit too much, instead of resolving them. You discover some piece of information that should have seemed important and represented some twist in the plot, but instead it brings a ‘uh, so/and?’ feeling, because it gets mentioned but not worked out. Sometimes this is explained by the fact that the reader stays with the MC perspective, and when she gets told ‘it’s been taken care of’ and doesn’t ask for more, readers don’t get any explanations either. It felt like there were a lot of small loose plot ends left hanging everywhere. For me personally, it also walks on that edge of being just a bit too close, because of some shared issues, when, on one hand, some matters are very easy to identify with, while on the other hand the differences stand out too much because it feels like they shouldn’t be there… Also, the writing is pretty good, and I’ve actually had to save a few quotes that really spoke to me:
‘I, on the other hand, always hovered in the space between self-consciousness and sterile detachment; my gracefulness was akin to that of an ostrich. When my head wasn’t in the sand, people were looking at me and probably thinking what a strange bird!’
my therapist called me it an already natural propensity to observe life rather than live it.
Since I spent much of my childhood being left behind and ignored, one might think that, as an adult, moments of perceived abandonment would feel old hat. The truth is, as an adult, I’m always waiting to be left behind. I’m always ready to be discarded and, therefore, I spend significant amount of time preparing for this eventuality.