Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Winter of My Dickenscontent

No, this will not be a blog about a newly found posthumously published Steinbeck novel. Rather, I thought I would say a few words about a certain fantasy of mine.
But first, I digress.
I would describe myself as being somewhat of a loner.
And all the people who know me would say, "Amen!" [Followed by, "Did he really say, 'somewhat'?"]
OK, I am an extreme loner.
I've always been introspective, since birth, really. Sometimes I feel it's as though I've spent a lifetime trying to rationally comprehend the fact that I was born at all!
Being introspective does not necessarily lead to being an introvert, but in my case I think it has. I enjoy people for the most part and I don't think any one would describe me as being socially inept, but overall, I have become somewhat of a hermit. And again, the word "somewhat" is a bit of an understatement.
Returning to the main subject matter [my fantasy] -- for the longest time now I've entertained in my mind a vision of what would constitute a sense of peace and happiness for me.
The scene is quite simple:
A deep winter's night, snow silently falling outside. There are houses nearby, little wisps of smoke exiting their chimneys, but these houses are as quiet and self-contained as my own, where I'm ensconced in a comfy chair before a fire in the grate, a cat purring next to me, deeply engaged in a novel by Charles Dickens.
[That is to say, I am reading the novel, not the cat].
A vital component of this fantasy is that I have all the time in the world to keep doing it. No agenda, no curfew, no interruptions. And an endless supply of coffee.
Some interesting things emerge from this.
Firstly, why is it, in my fantasy, that I am always reading Dickens?
I have no idea. I am not an aficionado of the author, having read only three of his books in my life. Maybe it's because most of his books are so lengthy? And they always seem so… Dickensian?
Secondly, [and with apologies to my feline friend] I admit that being alone is not the best scenario possible. Not by far. For even in my fantasy there does come a time when, satiated, I put the book aside.



Isabella said...

"[That is to say, I am reading the novel, not the cat]."

Why would anyone read a cat?

Cipriano said...

This is so something that an Octopus would point out! Thinking with all eight brains at once!
But you're so right, even my clarification is still grammatically wrong.
Alas, I am a bear of little brain.

D.B. said...

Speaking as one hermit to another - it's safe here. Though I am allergic to cats, in my "fantasy" it's an old English country manor and of course, I am reading Dickens with purring cat in lap as I settle into the worn leather chair by the fire. I was introduced to Great Expectations along with Edgar Alan Poe at the crazy age of 13, so of course, they both took root.

D.B. said...

p.s. could I get some brandy with my coffee - hold the coffee.

Cipriano said...

Dana -- I see. You are a fan of Dickens and warm fireplaces, and even cats -- but not coffee.
Your fantasy retreat will have to have a minibar in it!
Brandy sounds dandy!

Anonymous said...

Yup, a small house (easily kept clean.. almost by magic!), a dog or two, a fire crackling, cognac or port and your homie in another room watching some friggin' sport or other and occasionally exclaiming in frustration or elation.
And all the time in the world of course...

Stefanie said...

A lovely fantasy, especially the bottomless pot of coffee. Fair trade, shade grown organic of course ;)

Cipriano said...

"C" -- yes, some cognac would do the trick. Or, "sloeberry wine" which Moley served his guests while the fire crackled away, in The Wind in the Willows.

Stefanie -- mmm -- bottomless coffee, yes. Perhaps the new Atwood Blend. There are times I've wished I were a giraffe, so I could enjoy the coffee longer!