13. My Year of Rest and Relaxation – Ottessa Moshfegh
week twelve – 62.2
2020 to date: 738 KM
I little while ago, back when we could and we did, we went to the Vogue Theatre to see and hear David Sedaris speak, and at the end he did a short Q & A and someone asked what books he had recently read that he would recommend. He replied with two: Less by Andrew Sean Greer and a debut novel called Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh. I picked up both, and then picked up Less and left Eileen in the to-read pile. Fast forward, and I cannot recall why or how I came across My Year of Rest and Relaxation but I did and then read the author bio to discover it was Moshfegh’s sophomore novel. I think most people would think, maybe I should finally read Eileen, but I’m not most people. My Year of Rest follows an unnamed young woman (or I missed it) in first-person as she sets out to do what I suppose a lot of us probably find rather appealing in this current, socially isolating pandemic – completely disengage from society, and with the help of a veritable plethora of pharmaceuticals eagerly prescribed by a less than scrupulous psychiatrist, sleep for four months straight in an effort to reset. I mean, it sounds rather delightful to be honest. I spent most of the novel trying to decide if I liked or hated the narrator, all the while both feeling sorry and rooting for her. I loved this book. I might even read Eileen now. No, not next, but sometime soon.
Running has become running for running’s sake again. Everything is cancelled, and I expect that running will be cancelled soon too, since every self-absorbed Gen-Z (stop calling them Millennials; Millennials are turning 40) thinks COVID-19 only kills old people so social distancing doesn’t actually apply to them. So while I’m out for a sanity run around Stanley Park, clouds of virus factories are having YOLO picnics together. (Let’s be clear – it’s not just Gen-Z or whatever they’re called. Post-Millennial?) Today I decided that I really don’t want to be caught in the next crowd shot of Sunset Beach to go viral (ahem) even though my thorough Gen-Xness means I am absolute pro at being socially distant. So I’m not running on the Seawall for the next bit or while or for some indeterminate amount of time that I’ll decide on later. All because people cannot stay the fuck home and flatten the curve.