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The Dive.

I just finished the most amazing book: “The Dive From Clausen’s Pier” by Ann Packer. It was one of those books that I just…curled up in every time I picked it up. I let the story surround me, lost myself in it, lived the life of Carrie. I was exhausted when I read about Mike’s troubles as a quadriplegic. I was ecstatic when Carrie escaped the confines of Madison and found her way to the vastness of, yes, New York City. That was a pleasant surprise. I felt the frustration of knowing someone like Kilroy, a person so mysterious that it was exhilarating. The brilliant descriptions of the city made me stop and smile, and pray that I would be there soon. That I would be one of those people rushing on the sidewalks.

“Nonetheless, I headed off to look, still such a newcomer that the traffic unnerved me, the groaning buses, the scream of an ambulance, the flash and honk of a dozen taxis. The density of people on the streets amazed me–the density and the variety: I’d always thought Madison was pretty multicultural, but it was clear now how white it really was. I saw faces from olive to deep brown, heard accents I didn’t recognize, languages I couldn’t begin to identify.”

“New Yorkers were different. Old or young, crazy or brilliant, plain or gorgeous–they didn’t just walk outside, they made a presentation, they presented themselves. They said, This is who I am, today I’m someone wearing these boots, I’m walking with this look on my face, I’m having this intense and troublesome discussion with this difficult and beloved friend.”  (When I move to New York, I hope that I can be this unaffected by the people around me. I want to be that free and unworried. That is one of the most appealing things to be about the city: the anonymity. Yes it’s lonely, but no one watches you constantly every minute to see what you’re going to do; no one will see when you mess up. Isn’t there some appeal to that? There is for me.

And my favorite quote: (Sorry, I’m sure this is dreary. But I just had to share.)

“High above the city, we tried but failed to find the riverside spot where we’d be half an hour earlier, the Hudson itself a swath of crinkled black tafetta, creased with light. Below us the city multiplied and divided, neighborhoods and blocks and buildings–but within the buildings, whole countries, whole worlds.” Diversity. A taste of the world?

Ann Packer is a beautiful writer!

I think that I loved this book so much because I could relate to Carrie. I felt like we were alike, like I could find parts of myself within  her character. That sounds unbelievably lame but I believe that’s the mark of a great book. Who wants to read about bland characters? However, I don’t think I related to her because she went to New York. I think it was more because I get restless. And I want to hide when things get rough or when I’m simply tired of my daily routine. I apologize constantly and for things I am not guilty of. I try to figure people out, and I push and push and push until I’m satisfied.

I don’t know what else to say. I feel like I’m coming out of a trance, and I hate that. I’m disappointed to leave that world. Sometimes I think these fictitious worlds are so much better than real life. That could be a bad thing.

I’m sorry if my writing is completely awful. I read back over it and I have to wonder what people think. But then, I never said I was a writer, so does it matter? Editing’s my thing. So those commas better be straight.

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