I feel numb. I’m having one of those escapism spells again, and now spend every waking hour either reading time-travel novels or listening to audio books. Only when I have to use my brain for something else, such as having a conversation with another human being, my mind would very briefly visit the reality. Even when I was eating, or brushing my teeth, I still had my iPad in front of me so I could continue with the story. I guess that’s why I like bath more than shower!
But then I laugh. Haven’t I always been like that? When I was in my 8th grade, I was multitasking one day, cooking rice and reading a novel at the same time. The electronic rice cooker did not exist then, and I had perfected the skill of making rice by overfilling the pot with water and filtering out the excess water after some boiling. That day I was happily stirring the rice with one hand, while holding a book on the other hand, cooking my famous rice dish. To get rid of the excess water, I had to put the book down on the counter. The book turned on its spine and opened itself up to occupy more of the counter space while I was lifting the pot and trying to put the pot on the counter. In order not to get the book dirty, I used one of my hands to push the book away. I certainly overestimated my strength, and the pot was too heavy for me to hold on with just one hand. So the accident happened. I dropped the pot and dumped the boiling rice mixture on my legs.
I remembered my parents’ anguish over my months of hospital stay, but I don’t remember the pain anymore. The reminiscence of the hospital days were more sweet than bitter, as I spent weeks doing nothing but eating, sleeping and reading. My new skin from waist to toe was raw pink for a long time, and I was able to skip all gym classes even though I was well enough to do anything.
When I was younger, I thought that all kids read non-textbooks under the quilt with a flashlight. And my first year college dormitory living proved me right. All of my 6 roommates did the same thing after the lights-out. But I don’t think anyone went as far as I did in order to read novels in the classroom. During elementary and junior/senior high school, the seating were determined in the beginning of each semester. For as far as I could remember, I always deliberately picked the wooden desk that had a gap or a hole in the middle. It wasn’t too hard to do, though sometimes I had to help the size or position of the opening with a small knife. During the class, I would pretend to listen to the instructors, but my hands would be flipping pages under the gap and my mind would be completely immersed in a novel. I don’t know how I was able to keep good grades. Just imagine what I could have become if I didn’t waste all my time in my dreamy fantasy land…
Anyway, I just found this picture of my elementary school class. No, unfortunately I am not the pretty girl in red with braids, smiling sweetly like a princess. I am the out-of-focus one on the right with glasses.
At least I’m adult now and I don’t need to hide under the quilt or dig a hole in a desk. If I want to stay up and read all night and can live with the panda eyes the next morning, it is my prerogative entirely.