Still stuck into, in a savouring way, the True History of the Kelly Gang. Yesterday stumbled across the Jerilderie letter that Ned Kelly himself wrote and that Peter Carey used for the narrative voice. It is a little bit beautiful and the state library of Victoria has scanned and transcribed it. Bless them.
I can't wait to live with a bit of space around me, somewhere warm. And I really can't fucking wait to live around libraries again. What a good fucking idea public libraries are and how I took them for granted as a child. I sometimes have this sort of impersonal memory of my adolescent self mooching around the library, my nose stuck into some book by some author a million miles away in time and space and thinking from my northern Ontario shitburg in the 1990s. And even though I was an angry young thing, these strange escapes made everything tolerable, and now I'm so glad I had that to keep myself from sniffing glue all the time, but at the time I didn't notice at all, and I think assumed it was what everybody did, which was silly because the library was always empty.
Travel abroad and the absolute library dependence engendered by the humanities degree stopped me from taking libraries for granted by my 20s. And then whilst studying in Paris, the school not having its own library - having lending agreements instead with the semi-private libraries of the French 'public' institutions or whoever (by the way, if any young nymphos heading to Paris read this, the military library in Paris is a fucking awesome place to meet fine, trim martial ass) - well, that's when the yearning started in me for the proper way that books were made accessible, face-slappingly accessible back home, for students and the public.
And while there is a whole truckload of things I miss about Toronto, the public library system there has to be close to the top of the list. It is AWESOME. A fucking behemoth with outlets everywhere and a delivery system so you can get books from anywhere and drop them off anywhere, new releases super-fast, and just about everything I wanted. I only had to dip into the U of T library about 20% of the time whilst writing my thesis for the Parisian school, that's how fucking awesome the public library was there, and I was an absolute pig in shit.
Now here I am . . . yearning for a library the same way I'm yearning for space and warmth. And I'm yearning. Yesterday meeting his parents wasn't nearly as awful as I'd been expecting but it was still awful. They look so much like him, which stands to reason, and his father has the same giggling laugh. I just wanted to hear that laugh over and over because it was like hearing him laugh again.
Anyways, afterwards I really badly needed to get wasted, and so became so. Came home to the fucking freezing Art Nouveau apartment, cranked up the futile heater and lay on the couch for awhile, trying to finish my brain off for the night by getting enormously high, bundling up in a housecoat and the Snuggie Magnum had sent for Christmas. And while I got comfortable pretty damn fast because this Rotterdam reefer could soothe Richard Simmons at his tweakiest, I felt so fucking oppressed by the damn Nordic darkness tapping on the window and leaking in through the cracks, and the heavy housecoat and the heavy Snuggie and the lightless blue of the gas fireplace and having to curl up on the couch just to be warm enough to get comfortably numb, and I wanted with all my heart to be somewhere where I could be outside - where I could sit under the enormity of the sky and look over the enormity of the earth and not be fucking shivering - I felt that I was already buried in a tomb here.
So yeah, I'm fucking yearning. I feel that I'm close to the end of my tether and I'm starting to choke.