Oh I had a tough morning. The morning before the morning—when it matters, when it counts—I did get a decent start on the novel due in March, so that was good. Then I got to work and, I don’t know, the world shifted. No stormclouds, just drizzle I guess. My mood turned all drizzly. I felt antisocial and didn’t want to talk unless necessary and worked with the door closed all morning. I did get a lot done, but I usually hate having my door closed. I realized I had to shake myself out of my mood before anyone noticed so I considered the options: (1) go to store and buy dark chocolate; (2) go to store and buy new black pants and new black tights; (3) go to shoe store and look—again—for boots in this bootless season with styles I refuse to put on my feet because they are so not me. Why did everything have to involve a store? Then it hit me. The library. I owed fines, yes, but I also had no new books to read. I limited myself to three and have started to read the first: Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose.

The drizzles moved away off my head and I felt better after that. I think the reason I’ve been so dreary lately is I’m not reading enough.

But the troubles are not going to go away—books can’t save me now. Can people die from student loans? With Sallie Mae just one of the monoliths on our backs, we may be about to find out.

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