Tuesday, August 3, 2010

by the lamplight

I've bought at least four dresses this summer. Two hats. A pair of shoes. A watch. Books. Many books. Spent $875 to receive a free copy of the 16th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. And yet toilet paper feels like an extravagance. I walk into the bathroom, count out two squares and fretfully blow my nose. The roll is worn very thin and I only have three rolls left and I really ought to reduce my spending, tighten my belt (I could use a new belt), watch my pennies. I hardly feel a twinge of guilt when I purchase a new dress, but toilet paper--and trash bags--feel like luxuries too precious to afford.

It's nearly eleven o'clock when I write this. I know I should sleep soon but my chest hurts (again) and that worries and frightens me so much that I no longer feel tired. Neither can I write. I have nothing to say. The thought occurs to me that if I should die before I wake I will never have to worry about toilet paper ever again. This does not comfort me as much as I would like. It does make me laugh a little. I know I am being extremely silly. I just don't know how to stop. I keep the lamp on until I fall asleep. I'm not sure what it is I think this will do, what kind of help it will offer, but at midnight it just Makes Sense. In the morning I wake to the sound of rain and a meowing Cat and I am okay.

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