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eliot and the evening

okay, maybe my june cleaver pearls and dr. seuss shirt make it less emo. but seriously, those bangs will have to go. at least the freckles add levity.

one of the foibles of being a copy editor is that your deadline is king, and so your social life sometimes falls by the wayside. being at a weekly, i get to work during the day like a normal person, but on thursday, our production day, outside life is put on hold ’til the paper goes to bed.

my family are in town for my cousin’s wedding tomorrow, so our somewhat quiet household of three has swelled to a more riotous 10. my parents took my aunt and uncle and cousins out for dinner last night, so a little past eight i came home to an empty house. i made dinner, which is of peculiar enjoyment to me during a quiet evening, and ate it in the kitchen lighted only by dusk. i don’t like turning on artificial lights if i don’t need them, i’ve realized — and i roll the windows down on my car instead of turning on the AC, unless it’s just murderously hot outside (which, let’s face it, is not unusual for august in kansas).

i don’t think i could live alone. there’s too much finality and isolation in that.

i finally figured out how to check the voicemail on the cordless phones we’ve had for two years, and hearing the disembodied voices floating through the room was eerie. i knew there was a good reason for not liking the telephone. i ate a peach after dinner, which reminded me of t.s. eliot’s the lovesong of j. alfred prufrock.

I grow old … I grow old …

I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?

I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.

I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each


so i went and fetched eliot from the poetry shelf (underneath the shelf of english reference and the shelf of essays, cookbooks and miscellany.)  i read prufrock, portrait of a lady, preludes, part of rhapsody on a windy night. he has such a lovely, gentle, intentional way with words. when i write poetry i just throw them about, but you can tell he chose each word with care, lovingly placing it there in the sentence to bite home his meaning.

he’s a good companion for a lonely evening. for, i’ll admit, that’s what it felt, since all the family were off together and i was alone. but books, sometimes, can be as cheering as faces.

maybe i’ll actually make it through the wasteland this time.

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