Thursday, February 4, 2010
The Princess and the Goblin
Do children read under the covers at night any more? I had elaborate schemes involving flashlights and an ability to feign sleep in an instant. My father would periodically come into my room and ceremoniously search for the book he was certain was hidden under the pillow, the covers, or the mattress. I became adept at finding hiding places. All this so that I could escape into a world where princesses sleep in bedrooms with stars on the ceiling, and where goblins lurk in underground caverns.
I don't read by flashlight anymore, but I still pick up a book and feel the world fall away. The world around me recedes like the tide pulling away from the shore, pulling rocks and sand and detritus away. The sounds around me dim to a lulling background noise, and then I am simultaneously holding a world in my hand and entering that world through the words on the page. To the world at large I just want to say, "leave me alone, I'm reading."