This has been the longest year. Even now I don’t quite believe it’s going to end. I know there are things in 2023 to look forward to. I know there’re good things in the future. I know that everything has changed and forever will be changed.
My sister died in August.
No matter how much time passes, and we’re coming up on four months now, it still doesn’t feel real. I get up every morning, I feed my cats, I go to work, I chat with coworkers and patrons, I get through the day. I feed the cats again, I shower, I eat something. I watch some tv, some nights alone, some nights with friends. And I go to bed and dream briefly that Ann is still alive, and things are all right. And then I wake up.
And I read.
For the first two months I couldn’t really read at all. It was like the ability to lose myself in a fictional world, the one real escape where I’m not distracted by my phone, was simply gone. Lost. It seemed like it wasn’t physically possible. You’d think I’d have thrown myself into reading even more to get away from this reality. That’s what I’ve done steadily since before 2016. But not now. Not with this.
Yet, I knew Ann wouldn’t have thought that was the right thing. “I’m dead, and you’re not even reading? Really? Really?”
So I started again, a bit slowly at first. And then it all came back, the hunger for new stories and other worlds. Other experiences. Other minds.
I don’t remember getting my first library card. I remember learning to read and hating it, thinking ‘this will never be useful to me.’ And I remember the moment it clicked and everything fell into place. And I thought, ‘Oh. now I get it.’
Ann and I talked incessantly about books and stories. It was the daily thread of our conversation, everything came back to that. My sister is the only person I’ve ever met who read as much as they did, hungrily, voraciously, curiously. They would tell me about books they’d read and the premise wouldn’t appeal to me but the way Ann described it made me want to read it.
We always talked about starting a blog. We always meant to. Something where we’d do writeups and lists of our current reads and new books, and general reviews and just everything. And we never did.
So here I am with this blog. Partly spurred on by the trainwreck of Twitter these days, but also because I’m still reading. And I still want to talk to Ann about all the books.
So there there will be book reviews, and lists, and general ramblings. And talk of grief and missing because my sister was, and is, the most important person in my life and whatever form the future takes…that’s not going away.
Thanks for reading.