My Second Attempt this Winter at Rejoining the Land of the Living

I really need it to either be cold or not cold. I think this cycling from one to the other is part of what accounts for me getting two Christmas colds in the same damn season. But I’m going to shower and go into work today and try to make a go of it. I am feeling much better. I’m not quite to the point of sitting around fretting about what’s going on at work (a sure sign I’m well enough to be there), but I’m not looking forward to spending another day trapped in the house with these animals.

I read We Have Always Lived in the Castle yesterday which I expected to like more than I did. I just had a hard time getting into the rhythm of the language of the book. I do think Mary Catherine is an incredible character, though.  And I think some of the subtler touches are incredibly done. I mean, they say almost nothing about the brother, but the threat the cousin plays to the sisters’ relationship and the fantasy Merricat has about her whole family doting on her, it’s just not hard to guess why he had to be dispatched.

I also am about halfway through Life on the Mississipppi, which I wish I were reading in a reading group with barge captains now. Hell, I might even be civil to an Army Corps of Engineer person, if he or she were in my Life on the Mississippi reading group. One factual thing that interested me was that Twain says it regularly happened where there’d be a curve in the river and jackass land owners would go out and cut a ditch from where the curve started to where it ended, thus changing the river in order to give their property riverfront and strand some previous river-front property owner in the middle of Missouri. This sounds similar to how W. told us they ended up with those problems down at the big dam in Louisiana.

Also, he keeps mentioning Napoleon, Arkansas, which I cannot find on any map. It supposedly used to be right across the way from Wellington, Mississippi, but I didn’t find any evidence for a Wellington, Mississippi in Bolivar County. I did find a Lake Whittington which is an old bend in the river now cut off from the river. But whereabouts along the river there opposite Bolivar county Napoleon might have been, I can’t say.

Twain did tell a cool little ghost story about a boat that didn’t realize that the bend in the river wasn’t the main river any more, but being in the middle of forming one of these horseshoe lakes, and so the boat went down the bend, got stuck there with no way out, and even still may be seen out in the middle of some dude’s field, trying to take a way the river doesn’t go any more.

Obviously, I’m enjoying the shit out of Twain.

Edited to add: It should go without saying that I laughed when I realized Rosedale was in Bolivar County, thus adding to the legend that everything in this blog can be brought back around to Robert Plant. Well, and thus probably Robert Johnson. But still.

2 thoughts on “My Second Attempt this Winter at Rejoining the Land of the Living

  1. I love love loved (wanted to rub the pages on my skin until they absorbed) We Have Always Lived in the Castle. So, yeah, I’m a creepster too, in addition to everything else.

    And I agree about the seasons’ little games driving a body crazy after a few too many whiplashes. The pressure headaches alone from the alternating cold and warm fronts made me want to remove my eyes with a melon baller this weekend. (See? Creepy.)

  2. I loved that the cat told her stories and, honestly, there was a moment when the uncle said that she was a ghost where I just wasn’t sure whether that was true.

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