Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Distractions, Or Where not to spend your Summer Vacation

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been slipping into what can best be described as a general state of malaise1. It crept up upon me gradually; in fact I didn’t even notice it was drawing near until I found myself firmly entrenched within its walls.

So what brought that on? It wasn’t any particular stress over job, family, health, or finances; it’s all good there. Nope, I know what was, pure and simple; I miss Eòin.

For the past few months, Eòin has been my steadfast companion. He’s tagged along with me and my little dog on our morning walks. We’ve spent countless hours together during evenings and weekends. I’ve even spent a couple of weekends with him in a hotel room, just he and I.

Now, before you jump to any conclusions, I’m going to tell you it’s not what you think. I just crave his company. We spend hours talking--well, to be precise Eòin talks and I listen. He tells me about his life, his hopes, and his fears. I just can’t get enough of hearing all about him.

My family, especially my husband, have been amazingly understanding about the unique relationship that Eòin and I share, though it has certainly occupied a great deal of my time over the past year. In fact, the first weekend that I went away with Eòin it was my husband’s idea. Actually it was an anniversary present. A little weird, I admit, sending your wife away for your anniversary, but it really was amazing gift. It was there that I first began to understand what makes Eòin tick, though he continues to surprise me.

Lately, though, my time with Eòin has been distressingly sparse. Life and its multifarious2 distractions have conspired to keep us apart far too much over the past few weeks. As our lamentable separation stretches on, I’m finding myself increasingly immersed in ennui3. And Eòin, no doubt resentful over my lack of attention, is growing rather distant and downright reticent4.

I can’t bear his silence. So, to make it up to him, I’ve made a promise to spend most of Saturday and at least two evenings with Eòin this week. I owe him that. After all, my novel would be nothing without him.

Oh, I neglected to mention one little detail. Eòin is the main character in the novel I’m currently writing. I first met him in a dream when I was 19 years old and, though I caught only glimpses of him over subsequent (no, I'll not say how many) years, I never forgot that first meeting. About a year and a half ago I began to make a concerted effort to get to know him better, but it wasn’t until my husband sent me away for our 11th wedding anniversary that I finally began to hear Eòin’s voice.  I wrote only 7 pages about Eòin over that entire weekend, but it was the beginning of a wonderful relationship. I’m learning that Eòin is a pretty amazing individual, though not quite as amazing as my husband.

1Malaise. Such a charming word. Sounds like a lovely village on the coast of France; somewhere you’d like to spend your summer vacation. But let me tell you, “YOU DON’T WANT TO GO THERE. EVER.” It’s not nearly as idyllic as it sounds. It’s dreary and grey and smells like hope gone sour. And once you’re there it’s sometimes hard to find your way back out. Trust me; I once found myself trapped there for a couple of dismal years, during an unfortunate period I refer to as “My First Marriage.” No, this is the place where the doldrums and melancholy were born. So, if you’re looking for a place to spend your holidays, I’d recommend Euphoria or Felicity.

2Multifarious. This may mean simply a bunch of various things, but it sounds like so much more. There’s a hint of something sinister about it, like it’s the spawn of an unholy union between Multitude and Nefarious. Ooh, Nefarious is a wickedly wonderful word (nice alliteration, there). Must. Not. Footnote. A. Footnote. And since we’re talking about distractions here, I’d say that perhaps this isn’t too far off. After all, a good share of distractions in life are at best bothersome, and at their worst downright malevolent.

3Ennui. Malaise’s sister city; also not a vacation destination.

4Reticent. It’s funny how a single word can say everything and nothing about someone, depending on the situation. If you were to meet me in a large group of unfamiliar people, you could certainly call me reticent. Too many strangers and the words have to be pried from my lips with a crowbar. But stick me in the middle of a small group of friends and perhaps you’d be better find a different descriptor; loquacious (drat, see above note about not footnoting a footnote) comes to mind. Yeah, good luck getting in a word edgewise.


Diana Paz said...

Nice intro to your mc...and I'm digging your footnotes!

Rachel said...

I agree with Diana...still love the footnotes and I also love your introduction to your character

The Sesquipedalian said...

Glad you enjoy the footnotes, Diana and Rachel. They're my favorite part of the blog, too, since they give me an excuse to savor some particularly delicious words (albeit in my own twisted fashion).

And Eòin was very pleased to make your acquaintance. He'll certainly have more to say in future blogs.

Diana Paz said...

Hi again, I just wanted to say thanks for following my blog :)

Anonymous said...

Personally, I'm fine with YOUR footnotes to footnotes. Maybe you should consider making your next work a "revised" dictionary?

The Sesquipedalian said...

Ooh, that is a rather alluring idea, Anonymous. The Sesquipedalian's very own dictionary.