The good news is that my doctor has ordered me to read. Not a bad outcome of a visit to the doctor’s office, is it? The bad news, however, is that I’m not allowed to exercise. This means more time as a race spectator rather than a competitor, I’m afraid — but I guess the cyclists will be happy to have an additional person cheering them on.
My doctor thinks I have either Lyme disease or a thyroid problem, and I strongly, strongly suspect it’s Lyme. It’s rather surprising that I haven’t gotten it already; after all, I live in the state that gave Lyme disease its name, I have a dog who’s in the woods every day, and I’m in the woods pretty often myself. Plenty of chances to get tick bites (although I haven’t noticed getting bitten recently and had no rash). I’m guessing I’ll find out for sure early next week, and in the meantime, my doctor says I must rest and read.
Actually, if I have to get sick, this isn’t a bad way to do it — except for my inability to ride, things aren’t so bad: I get to laze around and do no work whatsoever and have Hobgoblin take care of me, and I’m really not feeling all that badly. I have a tiny bit of fever, a few aches here and there, a racing heart, but I’m not miserable. I should milk this as much as I can.
So, okay, I began Sigrid Nunez’s novel The Last of Her Kind recently, and so far it’s excellent, a good book to curl up with. It’s about two friends who attend Barnard College together in the late 60s, following them as their paths intersect through the 70s. The main character, Georgette, comes from a poor, failing town in upstate New York, who experiences culture shock when she arrives in NYC. She and her friend Ann negotiate their way through the late 60s counterculture and student unrest. The story is told in the first person, from Georgette’s point of view; she is writing at a time close to ours, looking back on her youth. I like this method of describing the 60s and 70s from today’s perspective as it gives the narrator a chance to think about how things have changed, how surprising some of the habits and beliefs of that time appear to us today.
As to what else I’ll read during these days of doctor-prescribed reading? I’m not sure. I’ve been thinking of picking up Geraldine Brooks’s novel The Year of Wonders if I’m in the mood for more contemporary fiction. I’m also considering reading Balzac’s Cousin Bette if I want something older. Or maybe The Accidental? Maybe some more Virginia Woolf? We shall see.
I’ve been meaning to write about Alison Lurie’s novel Foreign Affairs, which I finished recently — perhaps that’s a post for tomorrow.