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David D. Levine
29 August 2005 @ 01:04 pm
This weekend I finished The Iron Council by China Miéville, which I thought was awesome, and immediately devoured The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, which had been recommended to me by kateyule.

The latter book was a brilliant character study of an austistic 15-year-old, who overcomes the unique problems presented by his autism using the unique strengths presented by his autism. Unfortunately, I found the end of the book terribly depressing. I mean, he did achieve a limited kind of success within the sphere of the book. But he didn't overcome his autism, or the many personal problems it creates for him and the people he loves -- which is realistic, but still terribly unfortunate. Although the main character achieves his own goals, he still is left with no social skills and limited daily life skills, and I'm depressed by his prospects.

I came out of the book and looked at my LJ friends list, where I discovered that the hurricane that had been a Category 1 storm the last time I looked had grown to a Category 5 that threatened to completely destroy New Orleans. (It seems I get most of my news from LJ these days.) I was glued to the news for the rest of the evening. All the other major disasters we've seen in the last few years have been sudden; we haven't had the opportunity to worry about them in advance like this.

The book and the news must have hit me harder than I thought. On my way to work this morning, through an on-and-off drizzle, I noticed a spider clinging to the windshield. (I like spiders, as related in Bento a couple of issues back. Among other things, I admire them for their industry.) I was just half a block from work, so if the spider held on a little bit longer it would be okay. I touched the windshield wiper control to make sure the intermittent wiper was off so it wouldn't get squished.

You guessed it. I accidentally turned on the wiper, and the poor little thing got squished.

And I cried.

Well, I was laughing and crying at the same time, because I saw how ridiculous it was to cry over a spider when millions of people have been driven from their homes by a disaster of Biblical proportions.

But still. Poor thing.