Books as mirrors.

This post was supposed to be a review of the Handmaid’s tale but due to my laziness and Kindle’s unlimited terms of use, I was unable to finish the book.

So now I have nothing written and I’m incessantly mildly emotional. You know if you love me you’d buy me this book. Essentially, that’s been the theme for my last few months. Continuous, mild (not so fun) emotion.

James Baldwin said, “You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world and then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.” This is why I started reading books and it is why I write: to feel less alone; to make somebody else feel less alone. Today though, I’m tired of transcribing my pain.

My life is good. It is. There are bits that suck balls like everyone else’s. Sadly, it’s these bits that make for great posts and relatable books. I just do not feel like extracting those bits today, even if it is for an arguably noble course.

Paradoxically, I never learnt how to write my happiness and I’m not going to start with this post.

So once again, you’re getting a random excerpt I might never complete. But should I work on it and years from now you encounter it in a book or a blog post or whatever, shut your mouth. It is my work after all.

Speaking of people that look for my work, guys use the weirdest search terms for my blog. And it’s wild because you could save yourself the struggle and embarrassment by simply subscribing to my blog. So do that.

Here’s the random excerpt:

Today I went to a fast-food place littered with your presence. I wanted a slushy but they didn’t have the flavour I wanted and I sighed in relief, spared from the agony of having to drink you down. So I ordered chips and chicken which I didn’t want but I couldn’t order a pizza because the last time I ate pizza here, you were sitting so close I thought I’d never lose you. So I shifted in my seat and thought of my friend who’s obsessed with this place. How the first time she dragged me here, we talked and I laughed way too hard trying to upstage the sadness and how vaguely gas-lighted I felt. I think even then, I knew it was the beginning of the end.
And then I spoke to a mutual friend and of course you came up. So I tried my best poker face and asked how you were. He didn’t sound too optimistic. I put my phone in my bag because in that moment it’s all I could do not to call you because I knew even if I did, you wouldn’t pick up. I settled for helpless concern because my chest had had all the clawing at I could handle.
On the bus home, I read the Handmaid’s tale. I guess because it’s set in a dystopian world, I had this surge of emotion: this need to salvage what was once our normal. But I knew I’d keep hurting you and you’d keep hurting me. And so I hoped you were safe, that you weren’t overthinking everything. I guess while I’m writing this I should apologize for enabling that. I hadn’t seen myself in anyone for so long, I gulped you down in whole and chocked us both in the process.
Tell me, how is it possible to love someone so much and still not be able to stop yourself from hurting them? But even more importantly, are you distilling your love? Are you learning to love people without destroying them?

See what I (well, James Baldwin and I) was saying about books? A chapter of The Handmaid’s tale and I’m already regurgitating my guts.

While we’re on the subject of hurt people hurting people, read Juno Diaz’s story here. It’s a beautiful, heartbreaking essay on the legacy of sexual trauma. It bothers me (irrationally so) that I didn’t cry while reading it. I found it somewhat problematic but now isn’t the place nor time to get into the details of that. I think it would be derailing to this important milestone of men opening up on sexual abuse.

Another thing on the list of things that I’m irrationally bothered by is the realization that I didn’t feel very strongly about Chris Brown assaulting Rihanna. Obviously if you’ve been reading my blog you know how I feel about things like that. Also I just remembered I didn’t cry when I read The Book Thief. The long and short of this is I’m panicking about how I emote and so I’m gonna go deal with that.

Well, that was a random, alarming ending.

Later guys.


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