You can’t be a proper writer without a touch of madness, can you?
—Madeleine LeClerc, Quills
Has this become my only refuge?
No. Not even this.
Got a new pair of specs. I wanted either thicker rims, for a bolder look, or handles screwed into the glass without rims, for an even simpler look than what I have now. After trying on both styles, I decided on the thicker rims. Since these aren’t titanium, they’re several times heavier than my old pair, so I keep the old pair around for when I’m relaxing or doing sports. The funny thing is that this is one of the least expensive pairs of glasses I’ve ever purchased, yet they’re D&G made.
But if, like Queequeg and me in the bed, the tip of your nose or the crown of your head be slightly chilled, why then, indeed in the general consciousness you feel most delightfully and unmistakably warm.
I save the window-opening ritual for Friday nights, after a long, tiring week, when the sweaters are all folded, and the shirts all ironed. Before I go to bed, I turn off the lights, square off my desk, and turn the window crank 220 degrees clockwise. Even though the thermostat is at 23°C, it’s anywhere from -16°C to 5°C outside these nights.
When I wake up at 5:00 a.m., as I usually do, my room is filled with the chilly, snow-smelling air.
I do this only once a week to appreciate it.
I do it on Fridays to enjoy it.
Here I am, in a cabin in the middle of the woods, 160 km away for two short days and a night in Tremblent. Today, we drove the winding roads lined with pine trees and settled in. By tomorrow morning, the 10 beds and mattresses are going to be filled with 16 people, all-round exhausted, cramming in as much sleep as they can before the hills open.
In between, Aaron finds a Bubbles action figure that looks just like Karen. Phil is dealt a royal flush, which we’ll probably never see again in our lives, during the second game of poker. For this, we drink, and I’m asked to make a print of the photo for everyone present to sign.
I’m not here to ski, or snowboard, or party, I’m just here to observe. Nick gave me the use of his lenses, including a 200mm prime L, but it was the 15mm fish-eye Sigma that I grew to love. How strange it is to be recording my memories with someone else’s glass.
This weekend it feels like I’m running. I’m looking for something, but I don’t know what it is or where to find it.