May, and the longest weekend in it: Memorial Day. My father also used to call this weekend Decoration Day (yes, he’s pre-WWII material, and raised by old folks in his own childhood), and I’ll digress here for a little personal history of my childhood Memorial Day routines. The first visit was usually to my grandfather’s grave in Stryker to add/change flowers, and, after my grandmother died, hers too. Then we would travel south to my uncle’s grave, distinctive to me because he was a long-distance semi-truck driver and had a picture of his beloved rig etched into his tombstone. That was our long weekend then.
My long weekends now are usually alone; the brother and sister-in-law usually escape to a casino/resort and I stay here to keep tabs on the cat and own the joint for a few days. (See said cat, Bob, in picture above.) I purposely prepared for this weekend too; despite the fact that I have enough books to keep a nest of silverfish happy for a decade, I used the last two library visits to get five more books:
- “Lila” by Marilynne Robinson
- “The Poisonwood Bible” by Barbara Kingsolver
- “A Visit From the Goon Squad” by Jennifer Egan
- “Silver Linings Playbook” by Matthew Quick
- “The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd
Do you suspect, dear reader, that I will get through them all? My college literature classes are a decade and a half behind me, and I tend to savor literature rather than ravage it these days. And, yes, a couple of those are repeats (hat tip to you, Ms. Kingsolver, and to you, Ms. Egan), but I needed “comfort food” too, and they looked so delicious on the library shelf. My eyes are bigger than my brain, but I won’t hold that against me.
Why no trips of my own or travel with the extra time this weekend? I’m exhausted. I need something to reach into my brain and soothe it, like a fellow writer or reader might. This is the land of movies and beaches and drinking and entitlement, and I want to hide for a weekend, just once. I want to hide and believe in fictional folk for about 72 hours.
And I also want to remember.