Over the course of the lockdown, being starved of sex, I turned to steamy romance novels for comfort. In the middle of one of my reading sessions, I accidentally clicked on a recommendation for ‘Walden’ by this guy, Henry David Thoreau. The cover depicted this lodge surrounded by pine trees, so I thought it’ll be a wild night in the woods that I could look forward to reading about.
When I began to read it on my kindle sometime later, it completely surprised me that good writing existed outside of the romance genre. Notwithstanding the fact that there was no sex in the beginning, I continued reading, ’cause I found the delay of sexual interaction with the character an absolute tease; this author was some kind of erotic genius. I flipped through the last pages expecting at least a sloppy kiss, if not with another person, then maybe with the protagonist’s precious trees. This guy in ‘Walden’ really had it all figured out. He lived alone in the woods, and built his whole house for under some thirty dollars (can you believe it?), and he generally avoided people and hung out near his pond.
The more time I spent under lockdown, avoiding my neighbours and my exes, I began to realise that I should really start doing what this Henry person is doing, because maybe we don’t need to self-isolate from of the virus, but from humankind in general. Maybe people are the real pestilence, with their curtly polite nods as they pass you by. Not to mention their awkward smiles as you bump into them in a never-ending vortex of trying to get out of each other’s way.
Come to think of it, I could actually increase the number of dirty novels I read if I were alone forever. I can’t begin to imagine the time I’d save by not answering the door for the pizza guy, or wishing my lonely friends ‘Happy Birthday’. I’ve been inspired to let this newfound solitary way of life lead me into a blissful future, accompanied only by the one-dimensional, saucy characters of the books I read. Just my novels and I. On that note, I must get back to my reading, because I’ve only read twice today, and I try to do better while the sun is still up.