I grew up in Upstate New York. And when I say “upstate” , please don’t think of some bucolic town slightly north of New York City. Think Lake Ontario upstate, where phrases like “lake effect snow” and “polar vortex” are tossed around eight months out of the year. The rest of the time people find sarcastic ways to talk about the heat : “Don’t take your shirt off when you’re driving around – that seat belt could act like a branding iron,” or ” If you get knocked off that bike, make sure you roll over onto the grass – the pavement will cook you to death.” Fun times in my neighborhood.
I found respite from the weather in our local library – not only was it temperature controlled but it had books. I know, I know… what did I think was in a library ? Look, I grew up speaking two languages, neither of them being English, so I always felt that I needed a lot more practice in order to catch up with the “natives” in school. Also, I’m not always quick to grasp the obvious. I call that endearing – you can call that anything you want. I was just happy being able to pick out any book wanted to read and do it in air-conditioned comfort.
To relax, I write. Why not read you ask? I still do that, but I what I find most interesting is usually not what other people write about. I’m interested in the individual moments that make up people’s lives. Moments can be odd or mesmerizing or heartbreakingly funny or simply just heartbreaking. Strung all together they make a connect-the-dot game, of sorts. I’ve noticed, though, that when I do connect the dots, the picture is rarely what I expected.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.