The Winged Monkey has been having trouble sleeping lately.  Some nights he just isn't tired, and some nights he has a hard time sleeping because I have to wake him up 3 or 4 times to get him to roll over because he's snoring loud enough to wake the dead.  Both reasons inevitably lead to the same result: WM on the couch at 2 a.m., watching tv until he falls asleep.

Snoring aside, he is a thoughtful Monkey, and in an attempt not to keep a cranky Witch awake, he has been turning the volume way down and turning on the closed captioning.  So, for the last couple of weeks, I turn on the TV the day after one of his sleepless nights to find subtitles on everything I watch.

Now text of any kind is a distraction for my literate brain (billboards, twitter feeds, the back of tubes of toothpaste), and I keep finding myself reading the screen anytime the subtitles pop up, even though I can hear the TV perfectly well, and I usually understand English just fine.  But it's like a compulsion or something.  A reading obsession: if there is text on the screen I will be reading it.  I may miss half of the action and most of body language, but I know every word that was said. And every (sigh), (laugh), or (knocking on door) in between.

And after reading subtitles for a couple of weeks, you start to notice the importance of some of the more technical aspects of text that they seem to ignore.

Like punctuation?
And ...spacing.
And italics.

So then I find myself thinking about these subtleties of the written word and folks like Faulkner or e.e.cummings who seemed to understand the intimate relationship between the "mechanics" of text and the meaning of it. And then my mind jumps to audio books and how the performers on the recordings decode the tone and emotion and character communicated through such mechanisms and bring those words to life. Or, rather, demonstrate the life that is already in the words.  Because they are, you know.  Alive.  And powerful.  Life-changing even.

And then I miss it:  The reading.  And the writing.  And the satisfaction they both give.

It's National Blog Posting Month. I need this...

NaBloPoMo November 2012