I have a problem …
I finished reading Deerskin by Robin McKinley in the early hours of the morning and – as often happens when I read into the witching hours – I felt a sudden sense of loss, of isolation, of restlessness. I tossed and I turned and I willed myself into sleep, only to wake feeling that the world is somehow not right.
The morning progresses and I frump around in my pyjamas sorting through the morning chores – banking, checking emails, sorting laundry, contemplating the shape of the light bulb in my favourite lamp – and generally do nothing while do something. The time passes and I realise it’s time to shower and dress so that I can manage the day in more appropriate attire than my blue flannies featuring white cats.
Bathing rituals commence until I am wrapped in a towel and I wander into my room and pause. Something is amiss. I can still feel that dread I felt when I finished the last word in Deerskin. I still feel the absence of something important. I cannot function because everything feels warped, transformed into something I don’t recognise.
I sit on my chair.
There is a gaping hole in my stomach as the feeling of loss gnaws at me from the inside. I want Lissar and Ash and Ossin back in my head. But they’re gone. Finished. I can return to them but they will not have changed and I have. I am terrified this change will mean I won’t love them as much as I did that magical first time they swept me away.
It’s painful and I wonder how to fix this gaping hole, how to remove myself from this isolated, restless state of mind.
My laptop winks at me.
Twenty minutes later I am entering my credit card details to buy more books and as I look down I realise I’m naked. Happily sitting at my laptop buying books, naked with a credit card.
And the world is right again.