Every decade

I read a copy of War and Peace I’ve downloaded to the iPad.  She has fallen asleep on the couch.  I mute the TV without bothering to notice what she has been watching.  I turn off the light next to the chair where I sit reading.  Reading something on the iPad in the dark intensifies the nighttime reading experience.

Her hair has fallen across her face as she sleeps.  She’s recently cut it and colored it a soft auburn, an auburn that flatters her face.

I finish War and Peace before midnight.  I run the numbers.  I’ve read it five times in 45 years, once every decade since I was 17.  A small sadness comes upon me, for I feel I will never read it again.  The memory of it will fade even when I look at it sitting on a bookshelf.

I download The Big Short and begin reading it.  I am quickly absorbed.  I can read again for the sheer pleasure of reading.

She wakes at around 1:30.  We go to bed.  Even after sex, I am not tired.  I go back to the chair and read until I fall asleep shortly before dawn.  When I wake it is light outside.  I go back to bed, but do not sleep long.  I get up and start reading again.  She sleeps on.

I finish reading The Big Short just before she rises late in the morning.  I make another pot of coffee.  Over coffee she apologizes for falling asleep early.  I tell her it’s OK since I had good books to read.

“That’s one of the reasons I like inviting you over.  You know how to entertain yourself,” she says.

The thought passes quickly through my mind: it will be strange when she’s gone.

Published in: on August 2, 2010 at 9:23 am  Leave a Comment  

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