Read a book titled “Escape” by Barbara Delinsky. I wouldn’t call myself a fan of these kind of books (the kind you can re-read after a year only vaguely remembering a few things as the book progresses) but off late I have formed a habit of reading something light after a couple of intense reads. Danielle Steel stories seem too predictable to me (no offense to the author as they obviously sell like hot bricks). So I settle for a Barbara Delinsky or a Nicholas Sparks or an Anita Shreve book. The last name on the list however has a thing for tragedies, not my cup of tea when in mood for light reading. Which makes me come back to the basic question, what do I consider as a “light” read?
It has to be fast paced, have a little bit of soul and be interesting enough. It should of course refresh me to serve its basic purpose. It’s like you haven’t lost out on anything great if you didn’t read it but if you did; it wasn’t a waste of time.
Anyway, so I finished this book in more or less one day, skipping a few lines here and there and mostly enjoyed it. It tells the story of a woman who wants to escape her everyday life for the time being. Just when I finished reading the last page, it was time to go so I grabbed the car keys and headed out for my daughter’s swim lessons, the book still fresh in my mind.
And I thought to myself, where would I go if I felt like running away? I thought and I thought for a couple of minutes and yet no answers came. That kind of scared me. Not having anywhere to go other than where I was. I mean, shouldn’t I have a contingency plan in place if things didn’t work out?
Now I seriously started thinking, contemplating places or people I would go to if I ever needed to escape. The first word that came to my mind was Mommy. Well, don’t be shocked, most of the people call out to their moms in times of distress. But I know I wouldn’t go to Mom and dad, it would be too obvious and whatever I was trying to escape from could easily follow me there. Another thing is I would probably be in need of space and not advise if I had chosen to escape and moms really didn’t fare well in that department.
Next on the list would be a friend. But my best friend lives far away in another country; do I know anybody who lives closer and will let me in for an indefinite period of time without asking questions? Nope.
I could go to my sister, two flights and a couple of hours away. Yea, she would be happy to see me and glad to help but would I be able to ask for help?
And the last thought steered the entire deliberation in a different direction. Now the question was do I trust anybody enough to reveal my inner fears or doubts other than the person I married (my children are still too young to share worries)? And suddenly it felt like it wasn’t just my question but more of an entire generation. We, who no longer live close to our families, who make and break friendships on facebook and who dare not ring the bell at a neighbor’s house without reason.
It is my personal experience and observation and I could be wrong here that we are becoming less and less vulnerable. You can think of it as a good survival tool in this world of cut throat competition or as an obstacle which prevents you from getting close to people around you. Do we trust anybody anymore? Why are we so guarded all the time? Think about this, thanks to the internet and the i-phones we have more and more contacts, but when the time comes how many of them would you actually contact?
As the pondering continues I laugh out loud. So much for a light read! I had to admit a work of fiction got me thinking (I am sure that wasn’t the intention of the author!)
In the end I have to confess that although my thoughts to escape were all imaginary, the sentiments they evoked were not.