Catch 42

I know, it’s Catch 22.  But 22 has been in my rear view mirror for two decades now, so I’m co-opting the phrase.

I’ve written plenty lately, only, by the time I’m able to post it, I’m unwilling to review/edit, so it sits as a draft until I feel it’s not relevant anymore.

I’ve been very ambivalent lately.  Example.  My shrink asked me how my brother’s book turned out.  I had to admit, I still haven’t read it yet.  I’ve been told it’s very dark (and funny, I know), and I just haven’t had the mental energy to tackle it.  I’ve had some serious blue bouts of late, so I certainly don’t want to sink any further, and when I’m feeling good, I don’t want to be brought down.  Which stinks because I love my brother and want to do everything I can to support him.

Honestly, though, I have to admit…I have trouble reading lengthy texts.  I noticed it in junior high.  Remember all those books we had to read?  I found it difficult.  I can only describe it as my eyes moving faster than my brain.  I’d find myself having to read the same paragraph over and over.  That doesn’t happen when I stick to short stories, newspaper articles, etc. For a while I thought it was all in my head, then I had a teacher in high school tell us he had a learning disability that sounded exactly like what I would experience when reading.  I never asked to be tested, thinking that my mother and step-father would be angry with me for not speaking up sooner and getting better grades.  I was an honor student, by the way.  But the phrase I heard more often than I care to remember was, “if you can get a B, why not an A?”  For every subject.  I just didn’t think they’d be understanding.

So I never did anything about it.  As I type, I have no less than a dozen books I’ve started.  I never want to sit down and read cover to cover, like on a vacation or anything, because it’s difficult for me, so I start a book, then life intercedes, and a few days go by, sometimes a few weeks or a few months, and then I’ve forgotten what I’ve already read.  I read all the time, however….I pour over the news multiple times a day, and have no problems absorbing the articles I find online or in a <gasp> periodical.  It’s very frustrating, and I think one of the things that may contribute to my poor self-image.  I admire the well-read, but I can’t be one of them, and I feel stupid as a result.

Okay, I wasn’t thinking this post would head this way.  Oh, well.  For the record, I did “read” Catch-22.  Or, more precisely, Alan Arkin read it to me.  Love them audiobooks.