More on Books & Guilt (Weary Ramblings)

Today was going to be a long one. I knew it, right from the start, 6 AM, darkness, hot, humid. I was tangled in my sheets; something had bitten both my legs. It felt like midsummer.

As is my habit, I dressed accordingly: right down the adorable kitten-heeled suede shoes (I like the way they click in hallways and on streets) I acquired at an obscene discount several years ago. I did a lot of clicking and clacking; this evening, for instance, all the way from campus to the edge of Brookline, St. Mary's Street, the first aboveground stop on the C Line. A year ago, there would have been a reason for this (outbound aboveground trains were free); now it was more a symbolic gesture than anything else. It was hot; I wanted a walk; I had the time.

But when I finally sat down on the train, I realized a number of things: first among them, that my adorable little suede shoes had rubbed an impressive blister along the side of my left foot. Also that I was sweating profusely in my little silk shirt; that my shoulder ached from carrying my king-sized handbag; that I could easily fall asleep right then and there; and that I was starving. Go figure. I comforted myself briefly with the thought that the driver had been so preoccupied he had waved me on without charging me; then remembered that I actually like public transport, and want to support it, and hate when people weasel their way out of paying for the service, and then I just felt guilty. (Of course.)

Happily, it was to a bookstore I was headed, so after the author reading I perused the shelves for sake of my spirits. Luckily for my wallet (and also any fellow enthusiasts who might want to dig around the Brookline Booksmith in the next few days), I couldn't buy the entire store, and only came away with four books in the end! (ok, so I was all of three steps away from the cash register when I finally shed two, from the original pile of six, out of sheer cheapness).

Then I treat myself to some ice cream; and some Japanese noodle soup takeout; and a viewing of the spectacularly bad Eurotrip (chosen at random because it fit all the categories of a good "I'm too tired to think/laugh too hard/cry/be moved by a film" film). I feel, if still weary, at least somewhat emotionally bolstered.

Am happy that among my purchases were Dorothy Sayers and Max Beerbohm; I look forward to diving into their respective Oxfords with great hunger and anticipation. Perhaps something to tide me over till I am happily where I want to be? Or, failing that, at least a few sympathetic pages in which to temporarily lose myself.

Must now take out my trash and dump my recycling into the neighboring building's bin, since my apartment complex, for some unfathomable reason, lacks one. Here's hoping that the thought of all the jars and bottles I'm recycling alleviates some of my earlier public transportation guilt...