But the strange thing about life was that you could only live the one of them; you couldn’t live the other one, the one where you went to New York instead of London, and then compare and contrast. You couldn’t compare the life you had with the life you might have had though sometimes Vadnie Marlene Sevlon would have liked to be able to shout Stop and after the requisite minutes Start, and then catch the other life, live it for a bit, and if it was not as agreeable as the one in her imagination, well then she’d be able to return to the old life and appreciate it better by simply shouting Stop and Start again.
Jackie Kay, ‘Reality, Reality’.
Many books have been pulled out from various stacks and shelves and begun, in the last two months or so.
But my interest and concentration in them keeps slipping and waning so much so that it has been near impossible to finish anything I’ve started.
So, this has been a small accomplishment of sorts and hopefully the break that I need for getting out of this seemingly lethargic reading cycle I feel stuck in…..
Anyway, back to Jackie Kay.
Although this collection of stories were nowhere near my love for the collection found in her earlier work, Wish I was Here, this one had a few that really made their way to my heart as well.
Two, in particular – the second and the second to last story in the book, which essentially, is one story being told from two POVs.
And the funny thing was I didn’t realize it was so (except that both the stories had stood out for me and were clear favourites), until I had finished the book and was looking for my favourite lines to quote in my Goodreads profile, and then it dawned on me. (Yes, I am slow of heart, or head, or both, I guess) :p
And here’s one of my absolute favourite lines from the book……
So you think I’m paying you to go strolling around the garden? You must think I was born yesterday. Vadnie stopped to consider this seriously for a moment, the idea that the matron could be born yesterday and then grow in such a short space of time into such a nasty old woman. Not possible! Nastiness needs time to build up.