After a long stretch of feeling pretty okay, insomnia and that black dog depression reared their ugly heads once again. The all too familiar slide began before Christmas. I thought once the holidays passed I’d bounce back; a couple weeks later, I realized that wasn’t going to happen without intervention.
You can’t be proud when it comes to your health. I talked with my doctor, he prescribed a “nudge” medication, and I’m back to sleeping like a baby.
I can feel the slightest deviation in mood. My brain’s like a Stradivarius, without the market value. There’s no need to suffer when you don’t have to, especially when it compromises something as important as sleep.
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Reading-wise, I’m accumulating a lot more books than I’m reading.
I know: GASP.
Five or six books joined my vintage Penguin pile (I’ll tell you later), along with publisher freebies and the fruits of several ill-advised visits to bookstores. I say “ill-advised” only because I’m carrying a balance on my credit card I’d
theoretically very much like to pay off.
Among other things, I found this gorgeous copy of Alice in Wonderland, illustrated by Andrea D’Aquino:
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What to do with five days off…
Poor me, I requested my birthday (March 28) and the four days following off work. Now I have to choose a destination. Don’t you even say Scotland.
One thing I neglected to consider: late March is prime spring break season. Anyplace warm will be packed with thousands of college kids vomiting their brains out in the streets. Outstanding. There goes Nola, for sure. Right before Easter, at the height of party season? Nice planning, idiot.
I need to pick a place kids don’t care about, far from the madding crowd. Something tells me they won’t be hunting things literary like I will. I know, I’m probably giving them short shrift. Of course American kids are erudite.
Nope. Can’t manage a straight face.
Here are the options I’ve chosen:
Option One: Asheville, NC.
Asheville is on my shortlist of possible places to move. It’s roughly a ten-hour drive, so close enough I can zip back to the Chicago area to visit the kids with relative ease. It’s kind of in the South, along the Atlantic seaboard, so it’s milder. It’s also damned beautiful.
A towering figure in American letters – Thomas Wolfe – hails from Asheville, plus it’s roughly two short hours to gorgeous Charleston, right on the Atlantic. The drive there would be beautiful, and there’s plenty to see and do.
Option Two: Alabama!
A literary loop in Alabama, now that’s not a bad idea.
Yes, I said Alabama.
Harper Lee was from Alabama. Truman Capote visited her in Monroeville every summer, as a child. Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald owned a home in Montgomery, where Zelda was born.
The state’s actually blessed with literary connections. And losing Republican senators.
Option Three: Swoon.
New England. Lovely, lovely New England. Choices here are limitless. So limitless I can’t choose. What an awful problem to have.
But… And this is a very big but… It’s six hours further than Asheville. Thirty-two hours driving in the space of five days? I love road trips, but holy mother of gawd.
Option Four: Staycation in Lovely Chicago.
I don’t take enough advantage of living next to this beautiful city. All the architecture, the Newberry Library, the Art Institute… It’s true you neglect what’s right under your nose.
And I don’t mean your mouth.
Hotels are expensive in the city, sure. But no more than I’d be paying on long road trips, not to mention gas – and wear and tear on the car. Of course, it’s also minus Asheville and Alabama and New England.
If you were me, which would you pick?