I finished “Olive, Again” by Elizabeth Strout and it just ripped my heart out. I was only reading maybe 20 or 30 pages a day because I found it so wrenching, then last night I read the last 200 pages, because I had to. A number of Strout’s stories and characters are based in Maine and many show up here in “Olive, Again”. You need not have read her other books to enjoy ‘Olive, Again’ tho I really do think you might enjoy this more if you read ‘Olive Kitteridge’ first. Still…Elizabeth Strout speaks to me more than any other writer I can think of. Or should I say, any other novelist. There are poets who I swear have read my mind and heart and soul despite having died long before I was born.
And that’s why I dislike ebooks – I got this one from my local library, using Overdrive, and unlike other ebook readers I could not ‘search within the book’ – there were a few lines I wanted to save but neglected to do that when I read them and now I shall have to scan through the entire book to find them. If I had a ‘real’ copy of the book I could have marked the page, underlined the text. Oh, well I shall buy the book when it comes out in paperback – I seem to prefer paperback books these days.
I realized today that when I am stressed it’s like when I used to get migraine headaches – I can’t stand the sound of people talking. Human voices grate on my nerves, like this. I had one of those ‘episodes’ this morning, not a migraine, but a stress attack and I snapped my husband’s head off and yelled at the cat. Yes, I know the cat doesn’t qualify as a human voice but then again, you have never heard my cat. And she just never effin’ shuts up! If I knew what she wanted I would give it to her, I would, really, I would. Sometimes I know what she wants and them sometimes it is just incessant demands. “What do you want? You’re a cat. I don’t understand you”
Now that ‘the mother‘ has died, I wondered this morning how my father is dealing with that. Have they bumped into each other yet? Is there some holding space for the recently deceased? I was talking to him this morning and he made me drop my earring and then laughed – not a bad laugh but a warm laugh. I didn’t think to ask him about his wife (aka ‘the mother‘). We used to say that my father died because that was the only way he could get away her. So how does that work now that they are both dead?