“So, what do you do in your spare time?”
The question was number 583 of the typical first date question list. I knew this one by heart by now.
“I like to read a lot.”
(My subconscious whispered “when I’m not killing aliens on my Playstation 3”. My subconscious does that a lot. Provides the inappropriate answer when I’m talking. Sometimes it blurts it, actually. And sometimes my mouth gangs up with my subconscious and some of the alarming stuff make it to the open air. I like it when that happens. Sort of.)
“Me too. What do you read? The classics?” she asked.
“Um, no. I read espionage thrillers.”
“Oh. Spy novels.” Her disappointment was acute and embarrassing. Evidently I was definitely not the super-intellectual she had mistaken me for.
(“As evidenced by the placement of the preposition you decided belongs at the end of the last sentence.”)
(Note to subconscious: Ok shut up. Shut up now.)
I’m pretty sure that was the turning point in our date. She was not impressed, and I wasn’t impressed with her either. Ah well. Let’s see if date number 241.5 works out.
(“Why the .5? You didn’t date any midgets did you?”)
(Subconscious: they’re not called midgets. They’re little people. And no. And once again: shut up)
So yes, I read spy novels. Notably: books by Brad Thor, Alex Berenson, Daniel Silva, James Patterson, Vince Flynn and Barry Eisler. I’m sure there are others out there – I just need to find them.
(“Tell them why you read these”.)
(Dude, seriously – you’re distracting me. I’ll get to it.)
I read them, partly because my brain just loves shiny things – action, constant movement, attracts my attention and keeps me somewhat focussed. Focus is a problem, so reading stuff like this, where the conflict and tension keeps rising is like a soothing balm to my psyche.
I also read them because they satisfy, to a degree, the side of me that longs for justice.
(“You’re not going there. You’re not getting serious are you?”)
(Yes. Yes I am. But only for a moment or two, aiight?)
Post-911, it seems that western society at large wants to have a freaking dialogue with terrorists. The images of those towers falling and people falling or jumping from them remains a permanent fixture in my memory. A good friend of mine – a doctor, who lived in the U.S. but has since moved to Panama – told me right after 9/11 “just you watch: this will all fade from American thought within two to three years, and people will go back to wanting to ‘just talk’ with Muslim extremists”. To my horror and outrage, he was right. Oh dear Lord, I could write a monstrous treatise on all of this and about how wrong-headed we are, but that would be another blog, and THIS one isn’t about foreign relations or terrorism or politics. There will be one though, so you’ve been warned.
So anyway, my guilty pleasure is that I read these books for the fiction-based sense of justice they bring – where the good guys *know* (because they’ve investigated and found evidence) that the bad guys want to blow up stuff. And, knowing that American politicians want to see the terrorists tried in open court and then jailed if found guilty, only to be let free to terrorize again eventually, the good guys take care of business. I know it’s juvenile, and I’m OK with it.
There were other guilty pleasures. Like chocolate – the Achilles’ Heel to my Jenny Craig protocol.
(“See? You’re not a stumblebum: you used an ancient reference.”)
(Yeah, I wasn’t worried. You, on the other hand – well you said ‘stumblebum’ didn’t you?)
(Oh that’s ugly. Put your tongue back in your mouth.)
Also wine. There was a time I drank wine every day. I liked it so much that I worried about liking it so much, and so I stopped just to make sure I could. Didn’t drink it for a month. Satisfied myself that I wasn’t dependant on it.
Oh and let’s not forget gadgets. I LOVE my gadgets: it started off with my PalmPilot…..
Anyway, then I purchased anything and everything that was electronic, computerized and new. When the iPhone came to Canada I was the first in line at my local store to buy one. And the next year when the iPhone 3G came out, once again I was first in line. There’s a rumour that there’s a new one this year too, and I plan to be first in line. Plus, I plan to buy an iPad, which will replace the Sony PRS-600 ebook reader I bought just a few months ago.
(“Why you aren’t fending the babes off, I’ll never know”)
(It’s not the gadgets, dude. It’s the fact that you’re talking to me.)
(“Yes, and that you’re answering me”)
So…there you have it. My guilty pleasures: gadgets and reading.
I’m certain YOU have some guilty pleasures. Mind telling me what they are?