Run Away Run-Ons

If Monday was hauling wood day, sweat pouring down my neck and filtering through my shirt or collecting in dirty lines along the crease of each elbow, and Tuesday was ditch-digging day, whereupon Riley and I spent four hours hauling, laying, and burying irrigation pipe up the slope of Celo Knob at the Gardens (pausing, once, under a hemlock tree to drink spring water from a break in the line and yes, splash each other so that later, when kissing, I could taste that same water mixed with sweat on his skin), and Wednesday was glued-to-the-desk day, ninety minutes on half a page of dialogue to name only one challenge, then today is haul refrigerators day, taut shoulder muscles unsympathetic to my attempts at bear-hug-hoisting two half-fridges down the trail to and from my cabin without the aid of a dolly.

[That’s an attempt at a Didion run on sentence, though she’s too old for Riley and I bet she doesn’t use half-fridges and she’d probably have someone carry it for her anyway; reader attempts at Didion run-ons encouraged, comments welcomed, do post – trust me, once you start, you can’t stop, this parenthetical being an additional case in point.]

After the fridges, after the lunch rush, after yoga, I finish Melissa Bank’s The Wonder Spot and decide that its finest virtue is its narrator, Sophie Applebaum. Furthermore, I decide that the way the author uses white space and scene placement makes me envy fiction, while also slightly cheapening the genre. I am reminded of advice from a fellow MFAer: “It’ll be years, if not lifetimes, before you enjoy reading for reading’s sake again.”

At a pace of 250-350 pages every six days plus critical essays, I believe it.

Which reminds me, onward to Tobias Wolff’s This Boy’s Life.

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