I’ve never been a drinker. It’s not really a religious thing–although I did grow up in an abstemious household–I just don’t like the taste. So I’ve never quite understood why people will endure the awful taste and general malaise of post-drinking.
And then last night as a clicked through the latest book by crazy Patsy Cornwell I began to understand.
Because these wretched Scarpetta novels are my cheap vodka. My Boone’s Farm. My Pabst Blue Ribbon.
They are not that good. They were once, but now they’re just an exercise in her personal exorcism, watching a famous and wealthy author with her own passel of issues work them out on the page in the guise of not one, not two but at least four Mary Sues and one adoring plebe. Yet I still can’t stay away. I skipped the last one or two and thought myself cured, but on early Christmas morning after drudging through a couple saccharinely unsatisfying Christmas romance novels (angels? Really?!?) I needed hard killing. So I spent the 25 seconds and ten dollars it took to secure the latest and I’ve been briskly clacketing through the screens at every chance.
And I know it’s terrible. But I keep reading because I still want to know what happens next. I now am having the sad reckoning of these books representing my lost weekend, a foray into a reader’s Bukowski realm. As vices go this one isn’t too terribly awful. Yet I still feel a certain amount of shame.