Tuesday, February 11, 2003

I think it’s surprising that I’ve always been a reader.

I am an insanely impatient person. I’m one of those annoying folks who can’t sit through commercials or lulls in a show, so I’ve always got to have a controller in my hand, flipping through the channels. While I’m not a particularly poor student now, I am the sort of student who sits in the back of the room for the ultra-geeky purpose of being able to sneak and read another book while I’m taking notes. I draw cartoons and write stories throughout, and I conjugate verbs in foreign languages in my mind, and sing myself songs in my thoughts, and write bad poetry. And above all, I shake my leg and watch the clock until class, even if it’s a class I like, is over. In high school, I slept a lot; I mean, like every day in classes that I didn’t have someone good to talk to. It’s surprising that I can sit long enough to read.

I read books in an impatient manner. It’s difficult for me not to be able to absorb all of the information at once. I want to get to the last page right away. While I never cheat and just sneak the last page or two in, I’m rarely past page 20 or so before I have to start flipping to the end to find out how many pages I have left to go.

My grandmother, and my father too, I believe, read books to relax. I do not find reading relaxing. I fight with books. I wrestle with ideas contained in the text. While, especially when reading assigned texts that I do not enjoy, my mind has been known to wander to more pleasant storylines, in general, reading has often facilitated me in reaching a state that’s almost unprecedented elsewhere in my experience. It’s akin to meditation, or certain sorts of prayer; it’s the ability to focus only on one thing and one thing only and to clear the mind of all other thoughts. But that being said, it isn’t an unconsciously receptive state. It’s more like, when you’re in a physical fight, you’re able to concentrate fully on your opponent, searching him for his weaknesses.

The other day, at the library I asked my dad: “What if I hadn’t read so many books when I was little? I probably would have ended up all normal.” He said: “How boring!” Indeed, old man, indeed.

Tangential Observation:

Why is it that the ability to sit perfectly still, in an uninhibited sort of manner, is present in only the most physically beautiful human beings? Is the stillness a mark of their beauty? An extension of physical perfection? Or is it just a mark of dullness? Of a lack of challenge, also often found in the most physically beautiful humans?

As for me, I never sit still. I’m told, not even in my sleep. It’s fitting.

Actually, having seen videos of me acting generally like me, I’m not sure why I’ve not yet been locked up. I move funny. Sort of like a constant nervous energy, even when I’m not nervous. I look disturbed. I slouch, but not in a way that suggests that I’m unaware or lazy. If I didn’t know better, I think, on seeing myself walk down the street, I’d chalk myself up for some sort of crazy type. But I don’t move oddly by means of conscious exertion. I am simply odd.

That being said, I’ve known odder.