I like to go to my favorite bookstore and let my mind go blank. Generally by the time I make it inside my brain is too heavy to go on. I have been thinking about a million and one things and getting nowhere with each one of them. I think if I find the right book I can escape the heaviness but also, if I find the right book I will figure out the way to let everything work itself out. No, I'm not reading self-help books–not that there's anything wrong with that–but sometimes reading just helps. It doesn't matter whether or not it relates to anything going on in my real life, it just finds a valve somewhere and opens it and suddenly I feel human again.
I wander through the space even though I know what I'm going to find in each. There are some titles always in the back of my mind, will this be the time that I finally give in and check them out? Sometimes. I trust the booksellers' picks for the new releases table. I prefer the non-fiction and I simply go and do the wrong thing where I judge the book by its cover. I read the back, I read the inside, I read the first sentence and if something clicks enough, it's coming with me. I do this with everything though.
The point is that I went last week and wandered around as usual. I had picked a few things already and made my way to the French authors. I have never read any Simone de Beauvoir and pretty much every time I am at the store I think of this but I don't know, I seem to never be in the mood to check her out. The point of all that is not to show you that I am maybe cultured but probably not, but that's how I ended up picking up Helene Cixous' The Third Body (below and to the right).
I started reading it at the store and immediately was drawn to her disjointed sentences. Her million-thoughts-a-second being slowly distilled-tone. I mostly read it in the mornings on the train on my way to work and it covered me in a way that sometimes I took a longer way to get somewhere so I'd have more time to read it.
The book, which loosely tells the story of the author and her lover interspersed with myths and stories from her childhood–this is in no way an actual description of the "plot" as there uh, isn't one, at least not in the traditional sense–was not really about anything I could say "omg yes!" when comparing it to my life and YET everything resonated deep within, sometimes in incredibly (to me) obvious ways and sometimes just the remnants of thinking about something all day. Mostly it helped me make sense of the way my brain races and the way that lately I am (unknowingly) obsessed with looking at my life from the third person and analyzing the goings-on in real time while simultaneously judging which parts would make better scenes in a movie and what songs would make up the soundtrack.
I finished the book yesterday. I've never wanted to start a book over again right after I finished reading it except right now. I think it would be different. I know it will be different.
Really I just can't believe that I found this book at exactly right now when I most needed. I love the way the universe works.