1960s Me would be incredulous about 2016 Me.. (Or, more probably, ashamed.) I usually head up to bed (these days in the autumn of my life) about ... 6:30 p.m. In earlier (and healthier and younger) days I would not head up until around 11 p.m., at which time I would watch the 11 o'clock news, maybe Nightline afterward, maybe Johnny Carson. I rarely slept more than six or seven hours.
Not no more. (I'll tell more in a bit.) Now we eat about five, go for a little drive (errands, McD's for Diet Cokes), then ... home ... and upstairs ...
So what do I do when I get all snuggled up in my bed? (I love that word snuggle, by the way: It sounds and looks like its meaning. Snuggle, says the OED, goes back to the late 17th century and goes back to an even earlier verb, snug: To lie or nestle closely or comfortably, esp. in bed; to snuggle. Snug also was a nautical term, meaning adequately or properly prepared, and we all know that old expression snug as a bug in a rug (which dates to 1769; I like its predecessor: snug as a bee in a box, 1707)).
I'm getting off the track. (Dotage! Dotage!)
Anyway, I'm snug as a bug around 6:30, so what do I do then?
Well, most evenings I read from a pile of books, 10 pp in each. (So ... in a thirty-day month that's, uh, 300 pages in each of the books.) I slowly, slowly finish (most of) them.
On my pile last night (listed in the order of my reading them--an order that does not vary until I finish one):
- Wilkie Collins: Antonina; or, The Fall of Rome
- Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray (Kindle)
- Michael Harvey: Brighton: A Novel (Kindle)
- Stephen King: 11/22/63
- Mary Beard: SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome
- Nathan Hill: The Nix: A Novel
- Carl Hiaasen: Razor Girl
Last night, I finished SPQR, and I already have its replacement ready: I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life, by Ed Young (2016).
I'm nearly done with both Collins and King, as well, and already have substitutes lined up for them. (I'm reading Collins' works in the order that he wrote them. Antonina was his first novel.)
Some nights I don't read from all of them--I'm too tired (lazy/), but I always try to read from Collins, even if he is the only one. Doing this was how I got through all 47 of Anthony Trollope's novels, all of Thackeray, too.
After I finish reading, about 7:30 or so (?), I'll watch some of an old Rockford Files (once again, I'm streaming my way through all of them--probably the 20th time or so). Then ... the best news ... Joyce arrives!
She's been reading and/or writing in her study, waiting, I think, for the Rockford theme, her signal (?) that it's time to get ready to join me.
When she arrives, we'll watch something on Netflix or Hulu or something--a British mystery. Last night we began a Netflix (DVD) documentary about the recently deceased Paul Goodman (Paul Goodman Changed My Life, 2011). We watched (and liked) a bit of it, then ended my conscious moments with some of an older Mike Birbiglia comedy special on Netflix. I began to drift a little before 9 ...
Joyce stayed a bit. We mumbled back and forth. Then, sensing I was just about gone, she headed back to "her" room (the spare bedroom), where she read another hour or so (she's more of a Night Person, does not sleep very much).
And so ended another Night of Wonders on Church Street in Hudson, Ohio.
I would not trade such nights for anything ...