I just visited Betsy Lerner's very funny blog about writing (betsylerner.com). It is really entertaining, even if you're not a writer. She writes a few witty paragraphs, asks a follow-up question and gets a lot of responses. I was going to go to my Weight-Watchers meeting, especially after I'd consumed a bowl of chili, cake, ice cream and barbeque chips. But I read her blog instead. It made me feel good. I'm not hungry anymore.
Now Thriving in Reality is pretty serious business. Or is it? I mean, there's my 9 month old grandson and he's got a new toy from Genius Babies, because he is, of course, on the road to brilliance. It's a little workbench type thing with a blue and yellow plastic hammer and four color-coded balls which the genius baby is to hit through a color-coded hole. Sounds complicated even for an adult. My grandson put the hammer in his mouth and sucked on it. A good choice. I probably would have done the same thing.
My son just came into the library asking for a "crap novel" - something to divert himself from his otherwise serious work of editing and making existential films. He wanted a something "light" like a detective story. I looked but the closest I could find was Sherlock Holmes. And who wants Sherlock Holmes? I am disappointed by the astounding lack of good crappy novels in my library. I mean what to do when you're overwhelmed with gravity? How to lighten up?
My son has returned to the library eating a veggie burger and a pickle. He has given up the search for a good dime store novel. I ask him what he's going to do now, now that I have failed to provide him once again with what he needs.
"I'm going outside to smoke half a cigarette then I'm going back to work," he says.
"Why half a cigarette?"
"Because that's all I need."
Everyone needs a break from reality. Reality, even when you're thriving, can be a lot to take. Food, cigarettes, toys, detective novels, funny blogs….whatever gets you through the night. Now, if I were Betsy Lerner, I'd ask "how do you cope with Reality?" What gets you through the night?