Several years ago, after seeing the movie Iris, I bought Iris Murdoch's The Sea, the Sea, but unfortunately dove far enough into the introduction to believe it would be difficult reading, and I put the book down indefinitely. Yesterday, I suggested to my daughter that we sit by the fire and read. She agreed. I was afraid she would change her mind if I went in search of one of the dozen books I'm in the middle of, so I plucked The Sea, the Sea from the shelf. I opened to a page in the middle and found a person (a man it turns out) describing what it's like to see a woman he once loved, for the first time after many many years apart. Last night in bed, starting from the beginning, I discovered it's just a book about an old man who goes to live by the sea and sees a sea monster coiling from the waters outside his door. Not difficult at all. At some point he'll meet an old love, I know that for sure. But so far, he is very alone, and insists he enjoys it, out in the middle of nowhere, after a long and illustrious career in the London theatre.
"Mr. Arkwright, do you ever see any very large eels in this vicinity?"
Soon, I'll have to go outside, to get the girls from school. The temperature is falling. The wind is blowing over trash cans. By Monday there's supposed to be wind chills of 50 below zero. My husband sprained his ankle playing hockey. Tonight we will eat leftovers. The kids have taken up painting. What better time than now to spend the weekend with a crazy man waiting for the next sea creature to emerge.