Years ago I grew up (I told you it was years) in a house that was a slightly larger duplicate of a house three doors away. From the landing at the top of the stairs, where three more steps on the left led to the bedrooms, the loveliest room in the house lay over the garage. It featured built-in bookcases on either side of the (electric) fireplace and our neighbours added more shelves on the opposite wall of the room where they stored their massive, decades-long collection of the National Geographic magazine. One day the den left the house.
As I told you, the room was over the garage, without foundation, that is, there was no basement under the garage. The weight of the magazines bowed down the room and forced it to separate from the more securely anchored part of the house. That affected my feelings for National Geographic for the rest of my life.
I buy and read the occasional issue that interests me and have even kept one (on the Vikings) but I have avoided buying a subscription, fearing the outcome. Too dangerous.
Yes, well, if only I could apply that caution to other collections.
For years I loved the Sunday New York Times. Friends who knew me knew better than to disturb me for most of the day on Sundays because I was committed to the NYT. When I went on my huge cruise last year, finally I had to change my ways. I realized that the paper could not be delivered to my stateroom on board a ship, so I signed up for it online – daily. Now I can’t quit. Another addiction has snuck up on me. It has wrecked my mornings, I mean every morning. And not being able to swim for two months on account of my injured leg hasn’t helped. This is worse than a room pulling away from a house. This is me, pulling away from my self.
This is addiction.