I felt relaxed and barely thought back to Monica or Sarah or any of the guilt that I’d recently been focused on over Chad, Miss Hamilton or Sarah’s father. Robbie helped me turn that around, that’s for sure. Having gone back and typed in my hand-written journal entries reminded me of just how important that was.
Robbie was sick and not teaching on Monday and Tuesday of this week. I was a bit worried about him. But he was back in class today, and in full form.
He was going through a lesson on Wednesday, read us a few scenes from a book called The Handless Maiden. It was by a Loraine Brown. It was her first novel, and after he read a few scenes from it he explained how the author of this very powerful story had worked at it over the course of something like ten years. He held it up as an example of something he remembered hearing W.O. Mitchell saying during a reading he’d done in Sudbury almost thirty years ago. It was a statement to the effect that any novel that took less than four years to write wasn’t any good.
The class debated the issue back and forth, and I’m sure it was interesting. But I wasn't paying all that much attention at that point. I couldn’t help reflecting back on one of the scenes Robbie had read to the class and how it reminded me of Monica.
The heroine in The Handless Maiden is a talented pianist who loses her hand in the events surrounding her rape. In her I sensed this feeling of utter loss, the loss of her ability to create beautiful music -- I compared that with the loss I sense whenever I look into Monica’s eyes. I started to wonder if I had imagined that sense -- if perhaps I was reading something in to her look that I expected.
After all, I really wonder if I could ever truly understand what it is like to be raped. Yes, despite the guilt that I feel, as if my curse is what caused this to happen to her, despite the dark feelings and the grief, I’m still nothing more than an outsider looking in. I’ll likely never truly understand.
At the end of class, Robbie and I chatted for a bit. He mentioned to me that this weekend there would some sort of launch event from a Sudbury publisher with a few different authors which included a teaser for Sean Costello’s forthcoming novel Let It Ride. He said it was taking place on Sunday May 14th starting at 1:30 in the afternoon and he was wondering if I was interested in joining him in attending the event.
Wow. That was really cool. I can’t wait to attend the event. When I got home I started reading the latest book Robbie had loaned me. Costello’s Finders Keepers.
It still hasn’t helped keep my mind off of the upcoming event this weekend. I just can’t wait.