Very exciting doings in self’s life: yesterday, she had just dropped off her car at the mechanic (It failed the smog test, boo) and was finally sitting down to dinner when she heard — or rather, felt — this awful hard thing pop out of her mouth. She looked in dismay at her hand: she was holding a tooth. A tooth! A tooth! A tooth! And she hasn’t even finished paying for two implants she had done a year ago!
She called the dentist and the dentist said, Can you come over right now? And self said: I can’t. My car’s in the shop.
Make no mistake, the part of her mouth that once held the wayward tooth hurts. Throbs. Self wonders if she can survive the weekend. She decides to douse herself with vodka. No, brandy! Good thing she just came from Costco and bought a huge bottle of brandy for $13.99! That was very forward-thinking, self!
Dr. Oz is on TV. Which makes self feel twinges of guilt for not trying harder to look for her high-cholesterol medication. She thought she packed it in the bag for Seattle, but when she arrived at her destination, it wasn’t anywhere. Then she got so distracted, she never bothered ordering a refill, so it’s about two weeks since she’s taken anything. And yesterday, when she saw her doctor, she told him she was going to be in Ireland in May, and he said she should have her cholesterol checked before she leaves, and then self remembered that if she doesn’t resume her medication, her cholesterol will be high. So she told the doctor she’d get back on the medication, and stay on it, and then — after a month, say — she’d have the blood test. And he just looked at her and self could practically read his mind: I am so tired of this woman.
Anyhoo, Dr. Oz is on TV, and self was perusing the Clarkesworld Magazine website because, as dear blog readers well know, science fiction is her new “thing.”
Oh, there have been scattered forays here and there: her ZYZZYVA story, “Extinction,” and her New Orleans Review story, “Thing.” Her “Isa” story on Eunoia Review. But lately, she’s been having sustained bouts of science fiction writing, and she loves it. Loves it, loves it, loves it. In her stories, her characters can be green or blue, scaly or moss-covered, six-eyed or blobb-y. They don’t need to be attractive in the human sense. In fact, they’re mostly physically repellent. What does this mean.
She’s also reading Divergent (at a snail’s pace). There was some nail-biting tension in Chapter 5, because Beatrice slashed her hand and let the blood drip over — not glass, not earth, not water — is there anything else? Self, you dolt! You’d better go back over the chapter and read from the beginning!
Beatrice’s blood falls on coals.
Which means she has chosen — self draws a blank.
She has to read into Chapter Six to learn that “coals” represent Dauntless.
Just before it is her turn to choose, Beatrice goes over her decision to remain in her parents’ faction, Abnegation (which means she will have to help her parents clean up after everyone else has left the room, how exciting): “I can see it now . . . I watch myself grow into a woman in Abnegation robes . . . volunteering on the weekends, the peace of routine, the quiet nights spent in front of the fireplace, the certainty that I will be safe, and if not good enough, better than I am now.”
Self was just beginning to think how someone in Abnegation would be an extremely boring character to stick with for a 500-page novel when, of course! She chooses something else.
It’s just like the moment when Katniss decides to shoot an arrow straight up into the force field dome, instead of into Finnick’s gorgeous face! Totally unexpected and — AARRGH!
Anyhoo, our plucky Beatrice chooses the Dauntless faction, and pretty soon we learn that she is so much shorter than everyone else in Dauntless because she can’t see past their shoulders. Good thing the factions don’t have a height requirement.
But perhaps that’s precisely Veronica Roth’s point: Short people can be dauntless, too! Height, after all, is not a requirement for bravery! Yay! There’s still hope for self, who The Man opined is two inches shorter now than she was when he first met her, in grad school (She did ask her doctor about this, BTW, and it only seemed to exacerbate his exasperation. Basically, his response was: “Do your care?” Self’s response: “Only if it means I’m getting hunchbacked!” At which the doctor just shook his head.)
Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.