Pic courtesy Ikes, Flickr
“You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.”
-The man, The Road
Today I read Cormac McCarthy's Purlitzer-prizewinning The Road on the exercise bike. Ironically I spent a major part of the day on the road myself- Huddersfield Road between home and the gym. It has been a very stupid day.
I got up at 7am. I got ready- or at least what I thought was ready- in a semi-awake state. I drove to the gym. I got to the changing rooms. I realised I'd forgotten my shorts. I then forgot that I'd come in the car. I got a bus home. I got my shorts. I got a bus back to the gym. I went to the changing rooms again. I realised I'd also forgotten the notebook I use to jot down records etc. I walked out of the gym AGAIN. It was as I was walking out of the gym a second time that I rummaged around in my sports bag checking if there was anything else I'd forgotten. That's when I found my car keys and got an almighty, forehead-slap-inducing flashback.
In a state of complete disbelief as to how much of a moron I can be, I walked back to my car and went back to my flat, got my notebook, went back to the gym AND THEN started the workout.
This is what you deal with when you get up earlier than you would normally do for work and do something totally outside of your routine- you make really dumb mistakes. Thankfully, exercise is the best way of waking up your brain.
After 45 minutes of weights and short cardio, the synapses were definitely firing. I finally started on the bike/book at 10:30am. I had an hour's break for lunch. At 4pm the gym closed, and I still had the last quarter of the novel to finish. I raced home (in the car, thankfully) and buried my nose back in it.
The Road is an absolutely gripping, masterful novel- beautifully written, heart-wrenching, terrifying and totally believeable. The post-apocalyptic scenario has been done to death in films and books, but McCarthy brings a new level of believability to the sub-genre. Read The Road as soon as you can.