Long Twilight

Dawn starts from 6AM to a little before 7AM–a wonderful period of twilight that I usually miss except when attacked by insomnia, like today. I like dusk better, which stretches from a little before 5PM to a little after 6PM. The nice one hour twilight. My favorite time, but I didn’t realize it is more than an hour until it is pointed out in the beginning of Blue Nights by Joan Didion. The twilight is not really blue, but the color here is in the eyes of the beholder. If someone says it is blue, I would not disagree.

The book is on sale and I liked her book Slouching Towards Bethlehem and The Year of Magical Thinking before. So I just bought it, but as soon as I started to listen to it, about half an hour into the book, I knew I shouldn’t. It’s a sad book, not suitable to be read during the pandemic. Another half an hour later, I changed my mind and decided to finish it despite its unhappy content.

A lot of people and places and movies were mentioned, but I don’t know any of them–somebody called “Lovelace”, a TV or a movie “Deep Throat”, a neurological disorder, a place so well known that the author doesn’t have to explain where it is. I guess it is in California since the author talked about California a lot. It sounds very interesting in Slouching Towards Bethlehem but not so much in this book.

I have a friend who loves food. He once told me that life is sad in general, only punctuated by occasional good food. He made me laugh. When the pandemic first started, he said that since we may all die of virus soon, we’d better start eating and drinking as best as we can. Somehow this book has the eerie premonition of death to me, reminding me of what this friend said, and even prompting me to start eating my favorite junk food–steamed sticky rice– before it’s too late. The author lost her daughter and several of her friends, and she’s thinking of death all the time until she’s sick of it. Why did I get this book? Why? Now I am half way through, I have to finish it.

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