Thursday, October 25, 2012
This Book Will Change Your Life - Nine Months by Paula Bomer.
Associations. Massive and rampant. We are reading Nine Months as we are leaving a plane and there is a scene where the protagonist is so happy to see her children as they just wake-up and then so immediately unhappy when they jump on her and her coffee spills, and as we read this, we are excited to see our children as well, but know that someone will quickly be teasing someone else and the moment will pass, and that's not their fault, but it will suck. We are at the dentist and the hygienist is talking about her children and her man-boy husband and her mother watching the kids, and getting away, and so on. The words are descriptive, but not embellished. The affect is declarative, like little karate chops, and as she speaks, we think who does that sound like, and then think how she's speaking the language of Nine Months, which we now think of as at least somewhat influenced by Bomer's Mid-West roots. We are reading with Paula Bomer, we are eating with Paula Bomer, we are drinking with Paula Bomer, buying cigarettes, taking a cab, and on and on, and we know that she will be off soon to her next stop, and we wonder for a moment, whether like Sonia in Nine Months, Bomer is at least a little on the run from her family, as aren't we always wanting to be a little on the run from our family, staying up late, hanging out in bars, sleeping in hotels, and not wiping anyone's nose? Which isn't to say Sonia is Paula, or that we are trying to read into anything, as much as the book has wrapped-itself around our brain at this point, and everything, especially Bomer herself, feels like an association, or reference, and the book captures so much of the struggle of being in the middle of parenting, and being married, that's it's almost like reporting, but sexier, and funnier, and sadder. The fact is, no one cares that parenting is hard, and no one feels sorry for anyone who's able to conceive children with relative ease in a country where healthcare and education is readily available for those who have the means to access it. But if you love to read and you want words thrown at you like daggers, then you want to read Nine Months because Bomer's voice is so distinctly her, and her observations are so spot-on and knowing, that no one even has to care that its raw, or honest. It is that, yes, but does that matter, maybe, possibly, but not as much as the wondering about what will come next, and the dread about actually finding out, even as the experience of doing so is sure to change your life.