My morning temper, which I had kept repressed since college, has reared its ugly head again. I thought I had put it to rest. The weather doesn’t help. We get some rain here and there in Shanghai and after each storm, for a brief few hours, the air is clean and crisp. Mostly, it’s been getting hotter, more stifling. It’s only mid-July; the worst is yet to come.
After finishing The World According to Garp, I felt haunted by the Under Toad. When I crossed the street, I imagined speeding cars and drivers with their diverted attention. When I rode taxis, I imagined turns taken too sharply and the steering wheel spinning out of control. Following Garp with A Dance with Dragons hasn’t helped; I dream of fire and ashes.
Unexpectedly, it was my morning temper that chased away the Under Toad. This morning as I rode the elevator, instead of envisioning some imminent calamity, I saw myself growing sharper teeth and claws, growling at the passenger beside me. Since then, I’ve felt surprisingly safe. Impatient and irritated, but safe.
I haven’t written much so far this year outside of school and work, but I have read plenty. Out of the ones I’ve read, here are my top 5:
- Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
- The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
- Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
- The Stranger by Albert Camus
- The World According to Garp by John Irving
I also really enjoyed This Is How Your Lose Her by Junot Diaz and and The Hours by Michael Cunningham. I’d recommend any of these for your summer reading. I wouldn’t call any of them “light”, but I think each of these has something great to offer.
I haven’t been writing lately. Not writing because I haven’t found the time and not writing because the words aren’t coming to me are quite different. The latter is much more alarming. I plan on reading through the summer then taking a short break early fall to gather my thoughts. I suspect once I start writing again, my morning temper will be gone. Looking forward to that, and feeling like myself again.