Monday, July 25, 2005

Arry Pah-er

So, yesterday, I read over half of the new Harry Potter book. It's good. I really like it. The realtionships are getting more real and more complex. The books are getting older along with its characters. The teenagers really act like teenagers, which is really hard to do in a series.

However, I'm very alarmed that I do not remember a single thing about the previous book. I don't mean that I'm a little fuzzy about the details. I mean that I looked up the summary of the plot on Sparknotes and cannot remember reading the book.

This does not happen to me. I am a reader. That is my identity before any other. I will claim that identity before being a woman, before being a Murphy, before being a teacher, before being a Christian. I am a reader. This is weird.

There is no chance that I did not read this book. I'm one of those that waits for the next one to come out and usually re-reads them all before taking in the new one. The only reason I didn't this time is because they're all in storage. Often, my mom will buy the book, read and then pass it along to me. All my cousins read them and we talk about it on vacation. I teach kids and talk about the books with them. It's a point of bonding with some kids. It's makes me a cool teacher. There's no way I didn't read this book.

So, why then, can I only foggily remember the new setting introduced in The Order of the Phoenix at 12 Grimmauld Place and the heightening tension between Ron and Hermione that was so realistic in teens who are becoming attracted to their best friends? Norhing else rings even the slightest bell when alluded to in this new book and I'm really good at context clues.

The only answer that I've been able to come up with is that I must have read it right after my husband left and although it occupied my conscious brain for a little while as an escape, my sub-conscious and thus my memory were completely engaged with processing the new reality of my life and had no space for something like the plot of a children's book. In fact, I remember hauling a Harry Potter-sized book with me to the church that next morning after he first left but I'm actually pretty positive that it wasn't Harry Potter. It was either a Neal Stephenson book or one of Tad Williams' Otherworld books. Probably.

It's disturbing. I am a reader. That his leaving would cause me to forget every single detail of a book and not even be able to call them up when prompted is, frankly, a little scary. I am a reader. I don't like it that I gave him to power to take that identity away from me for even a little while.

So, I'll read it after I finish this one. I'll treat it as an act of empowerment. However, know that this has shaken me a fair amount and I think I'll continue to sleep uneasily for a couple more days. Ugh.

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