Contents are (marginally less) fragile

I knew Friday was going to be rough when I started off the morning by almost stepping on a cockroach in my bare feet.

Friday *was* rough, as expected. Even by the evening, when I abandoned all attempts to feign normalcy and instead went to the gym for an hour, I was faced with a Very Special Episode of “What Not to Wear” starring a cancer survivor who had lost both her breasts as well as ninety pounds. “Now that she has beaten cancer through sheer determination,” said the voiceover, “she faces another challenge: how to dress her new body.”

Luckily all my energy was going into propelling my body forward on the treadmill, so I had no strength with which to pummel the screen.

Yeah, Friday sucked, as did Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. There were bright spots! If you were with me on any of those days, you made them bearable, so thank you. Overall, though, I felt like a plucked chicken, and not even a tasty one.

Then, this morning, I woke up to a brilliant, sparkling sky. Suddenly I am sympathetic to all of God’s children. I am nodding and smiling. I am identifying with everything I read, like this, via Finslippy:

I’ve been feeling ever since like I should wear a shirt that reads, “CONTENTS ARE FRAGILE,” and actually that we should all wear that shirt, so that we can all remember to be kind to each other, because life can be so hard, and we’re only here for a little while.

Yes, Alice, goddammit! Yes. I embrace you! Mwah!

And you, Morning News Tournament of Books! Come over here, you old so-and-so. You are almost making me weep with happiness. (At least so far. I cannot vouch for what will happen if Wolf Hall and other favorites of mine from 09 don’t keep advancing.) Quotes like these made my morning:

Let’s say that the standards that apply to people-—the basic character-defining requirements—=are that a person be funny, smart, and kind. This is my rubric and possibly yours. If a person is funny, smart, and kind (or two out of the three) any other flaw can be forgiven.

It has never occurred to me to apply the same standard to books, which have an aesthetic dimension not even touched in the funny-smart-kind paradigm. And yet …

Yes, TOB! That is exactly right! Thank you.

You know what else is sublimely right? This chart matching famous writers with their day jobs. YES. I cheer for you, Lapham Quarterly. Hurrah!

Maybe Mr. Ben sprinkled MDMA on my Oatmeal Flakes this morning. After four days of Fester Gloom walking around (who has, to be honest, been making guest appearances in our apartment all month) I couldn’t blame him.

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