My Year of Binchy – Week 9: An ‘okay’ reaction


Thursday, February 29
  • Book: “The Lilac Bus
  • Chapters: “Tom”
  • Location: Front room with all my sprouts sprouting around me, it’s 35 degrees out, which is fine and all, but it’s also windy as heck and makes me cheekies cold
  • Smoking: Gorilla Pop, I think?
  • Playlist: “For All Mankind” Official Playlist
  • Did I cry? Immediately. In the first goddamned paragraph.

Ooh, we are reading about the busdriver today. Let’s see what sort of lessons Tom has for me!

Here is what made me cry so quickly:

”There was an exhilaration about pointing the spray can at it and seeing it change before his eyes. His mother had been appalled. It looked so vulgar and called attention to itself. That was about the worst crime in the book – attracting attention.”

Oof this hit hard at someone who was taught at all costs the most important part of being alive is to blend in with everyone else. Be the same, indistinguishable, so that you don’t attract attention.

I just realized that this is also why “American Psycho” in all its forms (except the sequel which will not be named). At the heart of it all, Patrick Bateman just wanted to fit in. Okay, back to this book now.

Okay, I guess I don’t understand how the dole worked in Ireland at this time (or at all), but reading this chapter makes it sound a bit like UBI – Universal Basic Income. I’ma go look it up so I know how it works. Okay, I will read more on that later – it was … a lot… and it is taking me away from the book.

The current system seems similar to the US Unemployment system, though, so there’s that.

Welp, this was a PERFECT Chapter. I was in fact gonna tell all y’all that, if you wanted a taste of Maeve to see if you like her, to go read this single chapter. It is beautiful and gorgeous and wonderful and I loved it so much.

It could easily stand alone on its own as a short story. But then I realized – it is also the final chapter – this is a two volume book!

So tomorrow, I will be starting “Dublin 4”, which is a 1981 short story collection.

Friday, March 1
  • Book: “Dublin 4” (the second part of the copy of “The Lilac Bus” that I have)
  • Chapters: “Dinner in Donnybrook”
  • Location: Front porch baybee, it’s 44 whole degrees out!
  • Smoking: Same Gorilla ish from yesterday
  • Playlist: Playlist: “For All Mankind” Official Playlist
  • Did I cry? nope!

I’m gonna try my damnedest to read this chapter/story the whole way through without taking a pause to write. Will I be successful? Let’s see!

Okay, I did it! But I came inside halfway through because I got cold! It was a long chapter, more like a novella!

I think this story would make an incredible indie movie. How do I get funding? I know a screenwriter and and editor and a costume person already.

Saturday, March 2
  • Book: “Dublin 4” (the second part of the copy of “The Lilac Bus” that I have)
  • Chapters: “Flat in Ringsend”
  • Location: Front porch with a very cloudy (good clouds) sunset, 51 degrees
  • Smoking: More gorilla stuff
  • Playlist: The Leftovers 1+2+3
  • Did I cry? Yes, when I realized which story this is and how differently it would hit after I’d done so much work on my brain.

The IMMEDIATE stress I felt when someone started to give directions to another person who had no idea what they were talking about. This is me, every single time anyone tries to give me directions or tell me where something is. Not only do I have no visual memory or a way to make images in my brain (thanks, aphantasia) AND a shit memory (thanks SDAM), but I am also a people pleaser to the core.

The people giving me directions? I can never please. And it causes a great, painful clanging in my brain area.

A lesson I learned in this story: Once something becomes yours, there is nothing that says you have to go looking for flaws. Accept it and love it like you knew you would when you were pining for it. I do this with cars, food I make, so much stuff.

Irish band to look up: The Great Gaels

Wow. This hits different after therapy. Reading this chapter feels very close to what it is like to live in my brain ALL OF THE TIME, but amplified times 100 and without the religious guilt.

Sunday, March 3
  • Book: “Dublin 4
  • Chapters: “Decision in Belfield” and “Murmurs in Montrose”
  • Location: Front Stoop, baybee – wearing very few layers. 55 degrees
  • Smoking: What sounds do gorillas make?
  • Playlist: Succession Party
  • Did I cry? Nope, but I got a grand warm feeling when I realized my twinkly lights were blinking in time with the music.

Today is a two chapter day! We’re finishing this book tonight, bitches.

Wow, that seems aggressive for Maeve Binchy, doesn’t it?

Okay, so the first story was fine. Didn’t make me have any deep dives into my psyche or anything, which is probably good to be honest. I need a little break from all the big thinking.

On to the next story.

Drink to research: Bovril.

I think this one would have hit harder had I not just finished the previous book. It felt similar.

Next week, I’ll be starting “Echoes” which, at this moment, I do not recall a single thing about.

Here is my current view, btw:


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