whatever gets you through the night (whatever floats your boat)

those 2 phrases came up in conversation today, from opposite ends of the dialogue. whichever one you prefer=)

some people take out a cigarette and light it. some people take double shot espressos, or play some game somewhere. some people find it in a soft toy, or a loved one bundled up next to them.

of course, it all changes from day to day. having finally gotten close to 90% packed, i realize i finally had some free time and i didn't know what to do with free time. usually i'd be with a couple of friends and there'd be something to do but for once in a very long time i didn't really know what to do. i did something i haven't done in ages, pick up a nice thick novel which everyone thinks is good. which would exclude some of the more introspective pieces we have nowadays which frankly is really a matter of taste.

i was recommended the grapes of wrath. it is a good counterpoint to being overexposed to classical economics (grr.), but ideology aside, i guess it's good that i finally picked up a work of fiction which i'm reading for pure pleasure (must be a month or 2 now). ok, it's not the most gripping of novels, but after i was taught (thanks!) that novels can be read aloud, that novels which too much dialogue are better of as plays (i don't know which teacher ever taught me that) i just love the drawling accent which the hard-as-ass characters use throughout the book. it's a novel in the old style, ignorant of human sexuality (or prefering not to talk about it so much), full of tough manly characters doing enough just to betray their sentimentalism (i like such kinds of characters nowadays). very good introduction to life and times of depression economics for me. very typical steinbeck, (of mice and men!)it is easier to read than 'east of eden', because i guess there's so much more anger and emotion through this one, and it's stylistically simpler.

and there's a lot which reminds me of how i like to see the world. the tribulations of the turtle being driven over by the truck, flipping, and being picked up by tom joad, and imagining the swirling clouds of red dust and living on a farm where you can see corn until it meets the sky. and here i am, being brought up in a city, alienated from so much that is natural (except for brief moments in the army/on vacations) where you're forced to survive in it, that it all becomes so romantic and i want to own a farm.

i guess most importantly it reminds me that there is a moral compass to life and i shouldn't become a monster. it's not the law, or interest rates, but it's who you are to people. i don't fear becoming one, but these things have an annoying habit of creeping up on you when you're too caught up. i think, that way, all of us will find it much easier to sleep through the night.

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