These things that I've been emailing Me are not at all related to one another, really—mostly they're just different things that interest me and that have threatened to destroy my productivity at work on that given day. So instead of letting the Internet win, I have created a chain of emails to myself, all under the subject line "to be sorted later," not that I know what it is exactly I plan on sorting later.
Yes, I am aware I sent these notes to myself, so I probably should know what these things mean. But I don't. Well, I sort of do. Two Sundays ago I watched "Nymphomaniac," Volumes 1 and 2, and it left me feeling odd and unsure of my feelings and vaguely disturbed, but not as disturbed as I thought maybe I was supposed to feel. I think I wanted some critic to tell me if Von Trier was a misogynist or pro-woman. Then I thought that maybe I should be an adult, and come to my own conclusions. Then I got annoyed by the whole thing and put the question of Lars Von Trier out of my mind entirely.
As for the "on walking..." note, your guess is as good as mine. I like to walk?
Moving on: I still have more to sort. Come to think of it, I haven’t actually sorted any of these things yet. I haven’t read that short story yet. I haven’t yet read Roxane Gay’s piece in The Guardian about Ferguson. I still haven’t read the poem “The Lost Art of Letter Writing,” for fucks sakes!
One of my problems is that I want to read everything at once. Sometimes this gets more out of hand than others. I still haven’t finished my summer Shakespeare project. My brother and I are in our third year of doing this. We pick a different Shakespeare play each summer to read, and then we might talk about it a lot, or a little, or not at all. The point is the reading of it, mainly. Jay texted me three weeks ago, saying, “Finished Lear” and still, I’m not done. The underachieving younger sister strikes again! Ha, ha.
It’s no wonder I haven’t finished King Lear yet. I’m also currently reading: The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles, Living History (because I felt it was required reading before reading Hillary Clinton’s latest book), and Bad Feminist. Oh, and A Wrinkle in Time, because I learned it was going to be made into a movie, so of course I needed to read it again. (My most recent reading of it was in 2010. I am insane.) I’m supposed to be halfway through another book, Cutting for Stone, as part of a book club my friend Natalie invited me to join. I haven’t opened the book. It is 658 pages long.
I’d say I’m not always like this, but I’m always like this. I have a permanent stack of books. The other night I grabbed Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention off the shelf, and then The Dream Songs, and then I realized I had two other books, and my journal, in my hand. And then you add the Internets, including access to the New Yorker archive (!) to this equation, and that’s it. I’m dead.
Sometimes I feel like I’ll never get around to sorting it all out later. Constantly, I’m reminded of my mother, sitting in her green chair, which is now my green chair, with a stack of books on the floor next to her. She had bookmarks in all of them, including Les Miserables, which I stole from the pile after my mother died. I’ve added it to my own stack of books from time to time over the last 12 years, but it never makes the cut. It always ends back on the bookshelf, to be sorted later.