Imagining different lives

Today marks my third morning of getting up an hour earlier than usual to sit in front of my computer and catch up on internet things. While I have been enjoying what I now come to think of as “quiet time”, I think I need to shift the focus a bit. Catching up on blogs and e-mails is something I can do on the train ride to work; writing on my smartphone is something I’m less at ease with. Sure, I’ll tap out an e-mail to a friend, but blog posts or creative endeavors always feel stunted by the smaller screen, as though I’ll curtail my thoughts to fit its size. I bought a cheap tablet to see if that might work better, but found that I still couldn’t type on it as quickly as on a real keyboard.

I think I should take advantage of my quiet time to get as much use out of the keyboard as possible, saving the reading for later. I have things I want to put down here, I have updates to make to my personal journal, and I feel I am falling behind. I suppose that is better than lamenting having nothing to say.

I have started reading We Need to Talk About Kevin, a first-person fiction written as a series of letters to the narrator’s ex-husband after their son has murdered nine people at his school and been put in a juvenile detention facility. I enjoy being in this woman’s mind so far. Reading this book, I realize that I enjoy stories like these where I can fall into the details of a person’s (fictional or no) life and thoughts, especially someone markedly different from myself. I’ve already gotten through a large chunk of it in the first day, and plan to keep up the pace. I’m also interested in seeing the film adaptation afterward. I love Tilda Swinton.

It is very refreshing to get away from the sweeping vistas and endless journeys of fantasy; the intrigues and power plays, betrayals and confessions. I live there so much of the time that I forget how nice it is to visit the real world. It makes me look at people in the train and métro differently, wondering what their stories are and how they would tell them. When I was younger I used to visit coffeeshops and sit for a while, watching people and inventing stories for them. Then I would figure that my story is, of course, nothing like their reality and start imagining all over again.

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