Editor’s Note: In an effort to keep Quirk E. Cat from napping at his desk, we have assigned him to Advice Column duty. We apologize in advance.
Dear Quirk E. Cat,
I appreciate you taking the time out of your very busy schedule to read this letter today. I feel a little ridiculous writing it, what with so much more going on both in my personal life and in the country as a whole. But you’ve maintained a strict schedule of books and jokes and a temperament that I turn to in times of worry and despair. Which is why I’m writing to you today.
I’ve been filling my evenings with reading in lieu of the news – occupying my brain with the fiction of other people’s lives and the non-fiction of individuals whose lives are inherently different than my own. All of this is wonderful – or if not wonderful, calming. But it means I’m spending a lot more time reading horizontally and one of two things now occurs on a daily basis. The first is that when I attempt to read on my side, my right arm falls asleep and I either drop the book and lose my place or I spend a good two or three minutes shaking my arm awake. The second thing that occurs is that when I attempt to read on my back, I drop the book on my face – sometimes knocking my glasses off in the process, sometimes scratching my face with the hardcover corner. See? I told you it was ridiculous.
Help me, Quirk E. Cat. You’re my only hope.
Lit & Resist
The only thing that is on my busy schedule is helping readers like you navigate the pitfalls of reading voraciously in this modern age. It’s my duty to provide sound advice and HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA I just had an image of you dropping a book on your face and my hand just slipped a little on the keyboard. Sorry about that. It won’t happen again. Now where was I? Oh yes. It’s my duty – and my privilege – to provide sound advice and counsel to everyday reading conundrums such as HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAA! Okay I really can’t hold it together. You’re telling me you REPEATEDLY drop your book on your face? Like this isn’t a one time thing? That’s absolutely priceless. Oh hang on a minute.
Okay. Apparently my caps lock was loud enough to hear on the other side of the room, so my boss just popped by to read what I wrote so far. The short version: she is not amused. The long version involved about thirty minutes of yoga in the company breakroom, even though I’ve told her repeatedly that cat and human bodies don’t move the same way. I can do yoga in my sleep. Which is what I suggested to her. I suggested she let me sleep. Suffice it to say, that didn’t go over very well.
So now I’m here, contrite and calm – much like how you describe yourself in your letter. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t say the following: I am so glad that you turn to literature when you feel helpless. I am so happy that you are taking care of yourself at the end of the day so that you can go out to face the world each morning. And despite my initial response, I don’t think there’s anything ridiculous about your conundrum. But I do think there is a simple solution, a solution that will make your evenings exponentially more relaxing: pillows. Sit up in bed while you read and surround yourself with pillows.
Now you may think I’m appropriating the wisdom of the great DJ Khaled, but even if I was, the man has a point. The world is rough enough and we are rough enough on ourselves. At the very least we deserve the comfort of pillows to prop us up as we read in bed after a long day. So Lit & Resist, I implore you: throw some extra back support into your evening reading routine and pick up an extra pillow or two on your way home from work tonight. It’ll make a world of difference both to your sleeping limbs and to your bruised forehead. And for that alone, the purchase is worth it.
One last thing before I go, dear Lit & Resist. I love that you’re reading about human beings from different walks of life than your own, whether these individuals are of a different race, gender, class, religion, sexual orientation, or political party than you. This reading is essential and as silly and irreverent as I often am, I didn’t want to end this letter without acknowledging that. Thank you.
Quirk E. Cat