I finished the Deathly Hallows in about seven hours yesterday. Boy it's good! Couldn't put it down. I queued for an hour to get it, and midway through my queueing I was joined by Andrew who went to a quieter bookshop and got his in under ten minutes. Then we went and drank lots of tea and read together! I won't tell you anything about what happens or who dies, and I'll try not to gloat too much that I know.
However I am now feeling somewhat lost. There is a profound sense of having finished with something the like of which I will never see again. I now don't know what to read, as very little seems to have the same appeal anymore. It's odd that I was so easily satisfied before, knowing the last Harry Potter was still to come, and now no other book really seems worth reading. I'm sure this feeling will pass - it must simply be the realisation of the event anticipated for so long. For months it was "on the way", for seven hours it was "reading it now", and now it's "all over".
In the aftermath of Potter, I picked up something I haven't read for a long time: Isobel Carmody's collection of short stories, Green Monkey Dreams. I had forgotten how intriguing and otherworldly her stories can be. I sometimes think she is like me: the world as it is isn't enough, or is too much, and must be pushed away in favour of fantasy and dream worlds. She often writes of events supposed to have taken place after some great apocalyptic catastrophe, the world wiped clean of the scourge of humanity as it is, and started anew. She writes, too, of human nature and the ways in which we delude ourselves. Poor Poppy, who pretends to be a monster and chases her siblings, runs the fastest to escape herself. Rian, who learns anguish through loving and losing. Matthew, who sacrifices happiness for the chance to fit in. And Noah. Noah embraces his different-ness, uses it as a defence, is proud of it. Noah knows he has fairy blood, even though he's an orphan. I like Noah.
Stories make me wish there was something different about me. Why don't I have fairy blood, why aren't I a witch, or a gypsy, or the daughter of a god? I guess that's escapism, pure and simple. I'd rather be anything rather than the painfully normal person I actually am. I still want Hagrid to knock down my door and say, "You're a witch, Stacy!" Silly, I know. The only person likely to knock down my door is the landlady, and she'd only say "Clean up the back yard, Stacy!"