Sunday, November 24, 2013
Avid readers of this blog will remember that some months ago I was having a romance with cortisone. I was writing songs for it (Just a sharp shot of steroids/ helps the misery go down,/ the misery go dooown, /the misery go down). I was stopping strangers on the street and asking them if they had had cortisone shots. Alas, it was but a fling. Cortisone dropped me as quickly as Britney Spears abandoned that high school sweetheart she married.
I have now moved on to Orthovisc, a substance that replaces knee fluid. I’ve had two injections. I got the second on a grey, cold, blustery day and found myself practically keening from pain both before and after the procedure. I know what you’re thinking: “She writes songs about medication; she accosts total strangers on the street and she keens and howls when in deep distress. Steph sounds like she’s up for a whole lot of fun. How can I get to know her better?”
Yes, I have been miserable but I always keep two things in mind. I don’t have a job that forces me to talk to Ted Cruz on a daily basis and books can make almost anything better.
Here are some my favorites for a sour mood:
Ken Bruen’s Jack Taylor novels. I know that a man who begins his day with a double Jameson’s and 2 Xanax doesn’t seem like a natural role model, but his life is always much worse than mine and he survives.
The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin. This is one of my favorite mysteries and features the Oxford don, Gervase Fen. And if your work setting doesn’t really allow the use of profanity, you’ll find exclaiming “Oh, my fur and whiskers” keeps people guessing.
The Bear Went Over the Mountain by William Kotzwinkle. While searching for food, a bear finds a suitcase that contains a manuscript. He takes it to Manhattan and becomes a huge (in more ways than one) literary celebrity. If you’re not happy about the state of publishing, this is the book for you.
Any short story or novel by P.G. Wodehouse. I do find that people either love or loathe Mr. Wodehouse. I think anyone who can write sentences like this should be venerated: “Mike nodded. A sombre nod. The nod Napoleon might have given if somebody had met him in 1812 and said, ‘So you’re back from Moscow, eh?’”
The Barsetshire novels of Anthony Trollope. I’m currently re-reading Framley Parsonage. Big questions loom. Will Mark Robarts the vicar become tainted by his association with the Duke of Ominum and the crowd at Gatherum Castle? Will Griselda Grantley marry Lord Dumbello or Lord Lufton? Will the bishop’s wife, Mrs Proudie, ruin her husband’s career by appearing to wear the clerical apron in the family?
After I read Kate’s blog from a few weeks ago, I purchased Sprig Muslin.
I’d love to hear about the books that other people turn to in times of distress.
© 2013 Stephanie Patterson