I ask a general pardon of the amusing things I say when I am physically exhausted. They surprise me, too. I should probably put in effect a plan to be off of the internet and write only in my journal when I am ill or tired out or mentally drunk on words.
"Do you ever get drunk on words?" asked Harriet.
"I am seldom sober," said Peter, and then I can't remember how the scene went except that they hashed out the idea of Wilfred, a character in Harriet's novel who they decided would be a paranoid religious fanatic. That is why he hid the handkerchief. See Dorothy Sayers' novel Gaudy Night for more info and a marvelous read of introspection of characters I am very fond of.
That's not what I meant to write, though. I meant to say something about Joy, who was my roommate for the past week in Dublin. I can say nothing bad about her, except that sometimes she is inexplicably kind and it is embarrassing to the rest of us because we are not.
We were talking about a song that we were listening to from the speakers of this very laptop from which I presently peck, and we were putting things up and making last cups of tea before we turned out the lights. She said it sounded like water--rivers and waterfalls and the ocean all running underneath in a field of blue. Those weren't her exact words; I only remember the image they put into my head when I heard them.
"I can see where it sounds like water; it reminds me more of the ocean than a river, maybe because I've lived by the ocean most of my life. What it really reminds me of most often is driving."
I put a band on the end of my hair, which I'd just finished braiding.
"You know, when you just come up to see the horizon and you know it has been there, forever." I stopped for a moment, wrinkling my nose at the prospect of an eternal horizon and musing upon the fact that I was confiding rather private images of a song to someone I didn't really know at all. Ignoring my momentary reservations:
" . . . like seeing the horizon, only for a split second feeling that you will always be able to see the horizon."
I ended lamely and looked my reflection in the window with an expression of confusion and disgust. Joy turned out the lights on her side of the room and was crawling into her bed. I couldn't see her face; it was covered in a white duvet cover over the bed when she said, "I think you'll make a great writer, someday."
"Thanks," I said, surprised, "I want to be a writer. I'd love to be a writer someday. Ha--if only one could make a living off of it," I said in jest. The song ended, and I turned out the overhead light feeling not a little unsatisfied with myself.
Back to Chaucer, I suppose. I thought maybe if I wrote it out I would understand, but I don't. Crumple and aim with stunning accuracy at the wastebasket.