12 April 2013

by jkatejohnston

Dear Max,

Teresa finished copy editing my new book—the 2012 Diary. It was her bathroom reading, and it took her five days to finish—a five-poop book. On Monday she texted me “Getting lots of work done on your diary. Having Poopapalooza.” So maybe it’s an eight-poop book.

Anyway, it’s short. Funny. Pretty slight, I think, compared to my 1993 and 1994 diaries and not just because it’s short. It doesn’t have any reading in it because my life has almost none.

One of the secretaries at work, any time you see her not actually working, she’s got her nose in a book. She walks and reads, rides the elevator and reads, eats and reads. I haven’t been able to glimpse what she reads. Anyway, she looks pretty happy to me. And then I thought about Oliver Sacks and how great and lovable he is and how all that reading is kind of swelling up under everything he writes. He seems like a reader who happens to write, which I think is the best kind of writer.

I used to be like that. Now I read on my lunch break and that’s it. In the morning, I write. After work, by the time Enzo goes to bed, I’m good for one 30 Rock or Girls and then to sleep. But it’s not just lack of time. It’s one thirty in the morning right now, and I can’t sleep, and I’m writing, not reading. I’m awake because I can’t stop writing in my head, and I can’t read when I’m like that.

Teresa assures me that when she reads my old diaries, she always skips the parts about Boswell and Johnson, but I miss them. Life without reading is less life.

Enzo is the saving grace of my 2012 Diary—if saving graces can fart in your face and then try to blame you for it.

And last night he tried to persuade me to floss his butt crack instead of his teeth.