Do you ever have those days when you just want to run away? When all you really truly want to do is to find a comfy, cozy, little ditch somewhere, curl up in it, cover yourself with the autumn leaves (a wild and flaming mix of red and gold) and just die? A day when you feel like nothing ever has gone right, is going right, or possibly could go right? When you expect the skies to open up and empty buckets of water all over you, when you want the earth to open up and swallow you whole. When your thoughts can't stop running in circles all around inside your skull, where your heart feels like a ball of lead, and where your gut keeps welling into sobs that you fight to keep down.
But even though the world was coming apart at the seams, some self-saving little voice at the back of my head reminded me to pop my book into my purse before I rushed out in a furious distraught rage. And that was my savior.
The walk did nothing to clear my head; my eyes couldn't see past my anger. The museum did nothing to stop my crazy infuriated thoughts; my mind couldn't go past my hurt. And then I stepped into a cafe/bar that had its walls lined with books and cozy leather seating. A glass of wine, and I opened my book.
And got lost.
Lost in the beauty, the sadness, the humor. As the words flowed around me and into me, reality receded. It was just me, then, in the little circle of light that the table lamp cast. Everything else was in shadows. My hand absently lifted my glass to my lips. My eyes hungrily devoured each line. My heart welled with love, my soul drowned in the characters' sorrows, a bubble of mirth rose and spilled over.
It has ever been thus. No matter what realities may crowd in upon my mind, there is one sure fire escape, one certain way of regaining my calm, my peace. One, and only one definite path to bring solace to the turmoil that might besiege my heart or my mind. I descended slowly into the depths and rose up on the other side. The intimate caress of words filled my ears with the soft voices of the characters. I smelled the breeze that the author described, I felt the silk under my fingertips. And the world was within me again.
Finally I looked up. Dusk had deepened into darkness. I slipped in my bookmark, and closed my book with a little sigh. My little escape would wait for me. For now, I had to deal with some devils.