Lucy Maud Montgomery
After midnight on Friday, September 16th I was still lying awake on my futon listening to a contemporary hard rock program on AFN Radio called “The Nerve” and playing with my hand-held Tetris game. Then, bored with that, I put it down and picked up my Lucy Maud Montgomery book to continue reading a few more pages of Further Chronicles of Avonlea. (When I finished it I started a short, 239-page history of the Catholic Church, and after that a 1,000-page popular novel by Ken Follett.) The feminine world that Montgomery describes in her writing is so quaint and dainty, filled with church and sewing circles, orphaned children and old maids. Everything in the characters’lives revolves around marriage or the absence of it. It was a world where a woman’s place in society was still much more related to the males in her life than is true in Canada today. Also, a world where life expectancy was much shorter, infant death more common, and before antibiotics treatment of disease. Smallpox still existed, for God’s sake!
Because I was listening to “The Nerve” I fancied imagining how Montgomery’s fictional world would react if Joan Jett, or Lady Gaga, Madonna, Amy Winehouse, Cher, Grace Slick, Grace Jones, Janis Joplin or Eartha Kitt - or even Hillary Clinton - were plopped down into it. Talk about alien worlds. That is something I’d like to see. I’d like to see Avonlea’s reaction to a Joan Jett performance.
Then it began to rain heavily intermittently. It was dark outside, of course, but I could smell that the rain was coming much sooner than it began to fall. But I didn’t notice when it began to fall, because of the radio and the hum of the fan near my head. After I turning to the book it was nice to read with the sound of the rain outside, and the smell of it wafting through the room on the currents I created with the open window and the electric fan. A very snug feeling. I’m looking forward to October, my favorite month, when the low-angle sunlight refracting off all the surfaces will suffuse the air with a dull orange glow.