I’ve started a new addictive book and it’s about vampires. I know, right? What is it with the current vampire fascination which is permeating books, movies, TV, and even music (Vampire Weekend, anyone)? It appears that as a culture we are pretty reliably interested in things vampirish, particularly if they involve attractive young people and are somehow darkly romantic.
The book is ironically titled Sunshine and was written by Robin McKinley, one of my favorite authors of Newberry-winning acclaim. The writing is so much better than Twilight. I also like the way the story is set in a modern-day United States wherein the general population accepts vampires as a reality, following a decade of so-called Voodoo Wars, which outed the undead and pitted them against humans. There is more depth to the story (it goes beyond a sparkly boyfriend), and more layered history of humans interacting with fantastical creatures. Interestingly, Robin McKinley published her vampire story two years before Stephenie Meyer penned her wildly successful series.
But the fact that it is about vampires is beside the point. I’m hooked because it is captivatingly written. I just love a good story which grabs hold of my psyche and, much like crack, is almost impossible to quit.
I think Jack felt the same way today about the sunny spring weather. Where I simply desired to burrow under my quilt and read about the undead during baby’s naps, Jack felt the pleasant temperatures and the backyard calling to him. At first, he shed his clothing and attempted to soak up the sun in the buff. When we nixed that, he humored us by wearing pants and spent a delightful afternoon swinging on the swing and pushing the barbecue grill around the deck. Nothing says good times to Jack like maneuvering heavy, wheeled objects around the premises. He was in his happy place today, and I was in mine.
I think spring sends a resurgence of life into all of us, in one fashion or another. Maybe we strip off our clothes and bare our blindingly white skin to the sun, as Jack is wont to do. Perhaps we thirstily drink in the spring smells which waft through our open windows as we devour a delicious book.
Some folks might be inspired by the pleasant weather to just get outside and do something crazy. Like, for instance, the group of grown men we saw yesterday wildly riding giant big wheel/tricycle-thingies down a hilly street in my sister’s historic neighborhood. We had walked to the old, lovely cemetery near her home and sat nibbling on birthday cookies to celebrate my four-year-old. Within the course of a few minutes, we saw families walking with their young children, a funeral procession moving solemnly to the farther reaches of the cemetery, and a troupe of big-wheel-joy-riding “grown ups” wheeling downhill at insane speeds. I noticed no braking devices on those giant big wheels. I’m pretty sure the only stopping power those dudes had came from stomping and dragging the soles of their well-worn sneakers on the rushing pavement.
It was an interesting and unexpected tableau: toddlers and parents, funeral participants, and extreme tricyclists–all outside and invigorated by the tangible freshness in the air. It would be tough to top that sort of refreshingly quirky springtime afternoon. Unless maybe it involved an intriguing vampire tale. Or a heavy outdoor grill on wheels, depending on who you ask.