Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Splash!

Vacations are supposed to be more fun than this.

Of course, I mean, this moment. Right now.

My vacation hasn't felt like this the whole time.

But right now, it sucks.

I have this rash that comes to haunt me every once in awhile. One doctor has told me it is impetigo. Another said it wasn't. Both agreed on a cream that tends to keep it from spreading too far but that shouldn't be worn out into the sun. The rash doesn't seem to be contagious but it does itch.

And it only lives on my face.

So, I have an itchy, puffy, bumpy red face since this time the cream didn't really seem to be very effective. I've had this face for the 4 days of this summer that have been particularly cool, sunny and beautiful. Also, I'm very tired. It's been a full week since my last final and I'm still sleeping 11 hours a night and taking anywhere from 2 to 5 hour naps. So, aside from brief forays out into the world, I have been sitting in my apartment, trying to ignore the blue sky that peeks in through the venetian blinds while I lie in bed because I don't actually want to do anything except try to stop my whole face from burning and itching just by willing it so.

I have things to say to you all. I promise I'll be back. But not today. Today, I'm going to get enjoyment out of this vacation, regardless of my face.

I'm going to read a book. It's going to have fairies and elves and dragons in it. I will forget all about my gross face while I live in Jane Yolen's world for a little while.

Do you know why I know this is possible?

Last Wednesday, I was reading my first novel since I started school last August. It had a 15-year-old female protagonist, fairies and dwarves and it was set in a Renaissance Faire that had obviously been informed by the Faire I worked at for 5 years. It was a joyful experience. Like jumping into a lake on a hot day. The transition from uncomfortable to soothed was immediate and absolute. I got on the El to go home from a meeting, sat down, noticed the guy sitting next to me looked at my legs, the opened my book. I didn't notice the world again until I was a stop and a half away from mine and as I savored the state of ecstasy I had recently been in, I looked around. Francis Spufford calls this state "reading catatonically." Proof of the depth of my immersion came when I realized that the man who had looked at my legs was my favorite kind of nerd: portly, pasty and making Dungeons and Dragons characters on the entire trip! How did I miss that? So, for the 2 minutes I had, I engaged him in conversation. Since he was wearing a wedding ring and has shown himself to be a person of similar tastes to mine, let's give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was catching a glimpse of the title of my book when I first sat down. In the course of our conversation, he was incredulous that I would be interested and then as he began to trust me, I wrangled an invitation to play with his group sometime. Woohoo!

So I get to read my books AND I get to play D&D.

I'll be back to write some more. But right now, I'm jumping off the edge back into the water.

2 comments:

duckbill said...

m'lady, i think you shall find this d&d-related post quite amusing...from mrs.peel's blog a couple months ago:
http://mrspeel.wordpress.com/2008/03/30/funnymen-needed/#comments

(and there's even an option to contribute creatively, if you should so desire.)
:)
sean

PrincessMax said...

Thanks for the link, Sean. Very amusing.