a greyhound of a girl


'She lay on the bed. Her eyes were closed. She was asleep.
But she wasn't.
She was afraid to sleep. She wasn't sure what sleep was any more. The luxury and the need were gone out of it, and the warm, reassuring fact that she'd wake up when it was over.
There'd been times when she was asleep, lots of times, since she was a girl, when she'd wake suddenly, her head would jump on the pillow – off a cliff, off a roof – a sudden fall, and horrible. But she'd wake, and stay awake for a while, and it would be grand. She'd know where she was. The wall was where it should be, and the window. And, later, her husband, Gerry, would be lying on his side, even – it seemed ­­– years after he died. She'd feel him there and the terror would disperse before she had time to think of it.
The terror now was that she'd fall but wouldn't wake. She'd keep falling, and the fall would never stop.'


A Greyhound of a Girl
(Pages 79-80)



For my birthday, as per requested, i was presented with a pile of books.
A sight i never seem to tire of.
But when i receive books it more often than not takes me a long time to get around to reading them.
Not due to indifference but purely because i read with my gut.
It's a very delicate process which involves prowling around my bedroom/house perusing book spines, collecting the ones i'm interested in, reading all their blurbs and then waiting for one of them to give me a...feeling, for want of a better word.
An, 'i want to read you' feeling.
It's hard to explain.
Maybe you know it?
You must.
Other people do this, right?
I'm not completely mental, am i?
It doesn't matter, it's just the way i do it and it works just fine.

This time around my gut fell upon A Greyhound of a Girl.
A book that happened to be in the 'neglected' birthday pile.
(this pile has been on my floor for over a month...i have too much stuff...and no desire to stop buying books...)

I don't exactly know what i was expecting.
Not much i suppose and as it's a children's book*, its style of writing wasn't quite attune to my literary sensibilities.
(says the girl who just a book before demolished the 4th in the series of Mortal Instruments novels)
But it did affect me.
The gist of it is: a young girl's grandmother is dying and her great grandmother's ghost comes to help her on her way.
All very simple but all very much like a stab in the heart.
I'm terrified of death.
So terrified it's been known to keep me up at night.
Not so much these days as my avoidance techniques for anything that puts my mental state slightly off-kilter are nothing short of mesmerising but the fear's still there.
And i don't only dread my own mortality, i worry for my family's also.
Even more so in fact.
I'm the baby of the family and one day i'll be all that's left of the present state of our little clan.
Sure, i might have kids - not gonna happen any time soon because yuck - but as of now, this very moment, i'm the last Boyd.
And that makes me feel infinitesimally small**.
Greyhound of a Girl has done nothing to help this fact.
Nothing at all.
All those things i shove down to bubble away inside my cauldron-like brain have suddenly been given a new lease of life and i don't like it.
I don't like it one bit.
Ugh and guh.





*Children's books are wonderful. I love children's books. But there are different levels of this particular genre and this one was just a little too young for me.

**Is that a tautology? I can't tell. Sarah?!

Sarah said...

Nope, not a tautology, perfectly fine.

Also, *hug*

Louise Boyd said...

But why?

Infinitesimal means 'extremely small' so how can 'infinitesimally small' not be a tautology?

What madness is this?!