Day 7: The Red Book

This painting I did yesterday is irrelevant to the post but I finally liked something I made…

I just read 2 entries of Kit Troyer ( Kit’s blog

One was about the Harvard Red Book that they send out around reunion time. I think it’s every 5 years. You can write an entry about your life or be mysterious and cool or so famous everyone knows what’s going on with you. But maybe the people who don’t sum up or write something just don’t know where to start or what to write. I agonized over mine. The first attempt in October or fall was an angry sort of lament about mental illness and the stigma and why people want to kill themselves. I was in a bad place. One friend said “go for it. Send it in.” I tortured myself trying to revise that one into something more like my post of 5 years ago which captured the topic and mentioned my close friend’s suicide. Then I tried to do an acronym from the word THIRTY, with a sentence starting with each word. That was even worse and really forced and trying too hard to be funny. I wrote a few more and emailed another Harvard friend. Finally I decided to just write a “Bucket List”, which is the first item as I’ve never written a Bucket List. I omitted that and my first item was to attend a Harvard reunion.

Skip ahead to receiving the noon in the mail. I’ll tell you what I did do with it without opening it yet. A few days ago or maybe more I was in and awful mood, I needed to do something violent so I took the red book from where it was which was probably the floor of my closet and I threw it towards my bed table, over six feet away. It was mildly satisfying. Then I went to workout on the exercise bike, a better choice for working out anger, and felt better.

While quarantining it (leave all mail in box for 2-3 days before opening), I noticed I had no feelings of excitement or anticipation. I still haven’t opened it.

That’s mildly shocking to me. What is disturbing is my lack of curiosity. Alice in Wonderland is my favorite book. Where has my curiosity and winder gone? Why is it only in my painting? I’m sure it’s affected by my not being around kids aged 3-9 which used to be such a big part of my life. And not having a dog since mine died 11 years ago.

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