Friday, 12 March 2010

End of the quiet room

I may be premenopausal. Which would explain why today I robbed a bank and killed a pigeon.

Robbing a bank could have been a dream, because you don't normally rob a bank while dressed as a Celtic woman warrior, handing a bow and arrow like you might find in the green forest of Robin Hood, and meanwhile grabbing a bag marked swag straight out of the pages of Maurice Gleitzman.

That could be the effect of quietly contemplating my bank balance while installing and filling another bookcase, purchased the same day for thirty quid from the local Help the Aged furniture store.

It's a bookcase in the last room of the house which had no bookcases. Now that's the end of the bookcase-free room. For many years I have positively resisted having a bookcase in that room. This might seem churlish of me. You can paint me as a boneheadedknuckledragger when I entered that book-free room.

I like to think this was the last calm room where I could retreat to, and have no distractions at all. It's a quiet place to recover from trauma and headaches, where I can weep softly into blank walls. The walls don't care, and that is good. But now I will have the walls bearing down on me and demanding I meet Conquistadors (Innes), Skellig (Almond), and Daughters of Britannia (Hickman), all calling me to account with Does Accent Matter? (Honey) and upbraiding me with a Dictionary of Grammatical Terms in Linguistics (Trask).

Anyway, now the fates of this room and my life are combined, and sealed. I shall cover the quiet walls in loud bookcases. Then it will be no different from every other room in this noisy house, and I may truly come here and become mad.

And the pigeon. When I drive back from the Help the Aged furniture store, there is a pigeon in the road. Or more correctly, walking across the road. Don't ask me why. You can't ask the pigeon, either. There was a soft bump. And I looked back in the rear view mirror and I thought that pigeons always flew away, just in time. That is what they are supposed to do. Stupid pigeon. Now it will haunt me, so Gerald who seeks sexy pigeon will be glad of the revenge. Tonight it will assail me along with The Ghost of Thomas Kempe (Lively), draw me away into The Savage Garden (Mills) and then in the final denouement, I will uncover it in the library like Poirot and know it is disguised all the time as A Lost Lady. (Cather.)

8 comments:

Firebird said...

I thought that about pigeons too, until I saw one being run over by a bus. The stupid thing just stood there, the bus wasn't even going very fast, turning a corner just before a stop it couldn't have been doing more than 5 maybe 10mph. The pigeon didn't need to fly, it could have calmly stepped out of the way! Very, very stupid birds.

Rachel M. said...

I love books and sometimes hate them at the same time. I wondered how a couple with no children accumulated 20 filing boxes of books while living in a one bedroom apartment? It must have been the lack of children and disposable income. My daughter delights in removing them from shelves but never tearing pages I've relaxed a bit, thinned out the garbage books - stupid chick lit that I used to pass the time on beach. Husband is thinking of building a massive bookcase into the dining room wall so we can fill it top to bottom. If it gets all the books out of my bedroom I'm for it!

Sorry about the pigeon. Although I really thought there was a D in pigeon. It reads like Pig-eon. Weird.

MadameSmokinGun said...

Pigeons are are mensa members in comparison to pheasants. Pheasants are really, reeaally, reeeaaallly stupid.

Once knew a big black labrador that was unbelievably stupid. (Brother-in-law's beloved dope). Liked rolling around in other dog's poo. We used to call him Forrest - let him off the lead in the fields and shout 'Run Forrest Run!' Then duck the drool splattering back in the wind.

Wonder what the stupidest animal is?

Kelly said...

Oh Grit. Grit Grit Grit. Why did you even try? You must have known you were doomed to failure. What's the alternative, large stacks of books all over the floor? Sadly, a fire hazard.

Twenty-four bookshelves here. And counting. The good news is, I used to say that we averaged one book shelf for every year we have been married. We are now on year 28, so the rate must have slowed.

As to the menopausal mania, all I can say is, better the pigeon than the little girl who works at Wendy's who got your order wrong.

sharon said...

I have curbed my book fetish by no longer buying fiction and by utilising the local library service. I do still have a rather large collection of cookery and craft books, which I 'weed out' every time we move as it's always to a slightly smaller house. My younger son still has a capsule collection of his childhood favourites in a large box.

Not sure about birds in the rest of Australia but here in WA they're all total morons, or possibly think they are flightless! I have never seen so many feathered corpses at the side of the roads as there are here ;-)

Big mamma frog said...

I reckon we must have thousands of books in our house.

Not bad considering dh has never read a novel in his life (all 56 years of it), I never get time to read anything other than the front page of the Sunday newspaper(if I'm lucky), and the kids resist my attempts at stocking the shelves with all my old favourites (ok, I know you're a boy, but why don't you want to read 'What Katy Did?' and 'My Friend Flicka'?)

Nicola said...

Funny - I yearn for bookcases. We have one in the whole house, which is chock-a-block full of books for the boys. My own books are just littered in piles around the house, for me to trip over in my non-bookcase madness. I was so impressed by your literary references in this post...me thinks I have a bit more reading to do to catch up...

Grit said...

yes firebird, they are stupid! i feel exonerated!

books wall to ceiling are good, rachel, and i approve of that. it's just that some place there needs to be wall. i don't know why. it's like a big punctuation mark.

mmesg, i am feeling a bit stupid right now actually, so i could be outwitted by a pheasant. i have been outwitted by the kitchen mouse. so has dig, and he is very smart with 2 brains.

fire hazrad! i never thought of that. we have lived with mountains of fire fodder all over the floor for months!

the library works ... and it doesn't work, sharon. mostly because they routinely sell off the book stock. that is bad bad bad. we have more stock now than they do.

you are right there big mama frog. why don't my kids want to read Professor Branestawm and my 1960s collection of Wham annuals?

nicola, it is all a front, which is what english lit courses teach, more than anything. indeed, i have never read hamlet either.