Falling Behind

I can't decide which one to start. So I start one, then start another, then another, eventually circling back around to the beginning. Then I'll lay them out like this on my bed, hover a hand over top their covers, floating it across then up then back across, hoping my hand will stop on a single title, like the spirit of the Ouija guiding me toward the best read for the moment. But my hand usually stops between two books, or on the intersection of four, and I'll randomly choose one, not because of some inner feeling, but because I like the tactile feel of the cover (Francisco Goldman's Say Her Name's stock is toothy and textured and makes me want to draw on it, while Maggie Nelson's Bluets has a smooth, matte, almost oily touch to it) or because the cover's art appeals (Jill Talbot's The Way We Weren't is so pleasing with its white sky and floaty red balloon that's drifting away or trapped at the top of some invisible ceiling, but then there's the cool motel key image on Lucia Berlin's A Manual for Cleaning Women that looks so real and three-dimensional it seems like you should be able to grab it with your fingers), and there are the names I love, Rachel Cusk because it's fun to say (and she's moving to read) and Eliot Treichel (also fun to say—tri as in tricycle + cull—but also we learned how to write together in college and he's a warm, lovely person whose name I'm always thrilled to see on an actual book, a second book in this case!), and on and on. Maybe it's okay to enjoy them this way, too, before, an aperitif of sorts, while I make my decision on the main course. 

 

Where I live

My apartment in Great Barrington, MA. The shower isn't really that close to the bed, and my desk doesn't face the refrigerator, but you get the idea.