I've lived the past few weeks in a daze of apathy, and it has felt remarkably pleasant. It's quite relieving to not care about your interactions with your peers, to embrace the fact that most of the time, people are too caught up in themselves to give much attention to caring about how you present yourself. It's a mindset that can be turned on at a moment's notice, a blockade that prevents investment. And it's scary how nice it feels.
Fortunately, there are novels. Barbara Kingsolver published her essential anti-apathy novel, Animal Dreams, in 1990. It never really acquired the "classic" label that got attached to The Bean Trees and The Poisonwood Bible, but it's been the Kingsolver novel that I've most needed this year. As with all Kingsolver pieces, it is highly quotable and deliciously so, and Kingsolver seems to be a bit fed up with being subtle in this novel, so there are these fantastic bursts of passion that shock the reader into paying attention.
But anyway, I thought that this passage was sort of important -
Maybe it's true what they say, that as long as you're nursing your own pain, whatever it is, you'll turn your back on others in the same boat. You'll want to believe the fix they're in is their own damn fault.
And you'll believe that the fix you're in is your own damn fault, and you'll feel lonely, lonely. And really, you were born to be lonely. You are best so.