Narrative: My Reading Identity
It was a gorgeous book. Not the beautiful gorgeous, or the gorgeous that made you envious because you didn’t have that thing, I mean the gruesome gorgeous. The gorgeous that snaps you back into reality. You never knew what it meant but it struck you in ways you never knew were possible. It was a horrid book, but my brain couldn’t release my hands from the book. Bleed Like Me was an experience I wish I could relive, but I have only grown more sensitive to these topics; teen love, suicide, mental illness, etc. All of these topics are things that I’ve avoided like the plague, not wanting to get hurt, or give myself ideas on how to eliminate myself from existence.
The book was about Gannon and Brook. They were the perfect photo of dysfunctional. If you searched through a dictionary for the word you would find a picture of these two. They were mentally drained teens who found comfort in the worst coping mechanisms; self-harm, drugs, and drinking- I am genuinely sorry but I cannot do this. This isn’t a normal reading identity. Not a lot of people realize that other people try to kill themselves through reading a book. Let’s just say that my reading identity is beautiful and ugly all at the same time. I constantly read books about a curse called life and how you can’t escape it. There were times when I cried because of a book and times when I laughed because of books. If I made this narrative how I planned to it would be a huge sob story. Oh I’m so sad and depressed, poor me, I’m so sad, I read a romantic book about two people cutting together. I don’t want to be known as that.
Moral of the story, books have answered all the questions I have deemed too stupid to say out loud, or confirmed previous ideas or thoughts. I always knew racism was an issue but I never really understood it until I read To Kill a Mockingbird. I didn’t understand cross dressing until I read Twelfth Night.
Books are something I have a love-hate relationship with. We are normally two peas in a pod, but sometimes our pod is cracked open and we’re switched with another pea. At times, I love a book and a body builder on the strongest steroid could not pull me away from it, other times I just need space and the book sleeps on the couch. And that’s just the way it is. Sometimes a book is so mind blowing that I have to set it down for a few seconds to recollect my thoughts. I don’t think our relationship will ever change honestly. If it were to change I think it would turn into pure hatred. If the change happened every library would burst into uncontrollable flames with just a glance from me. Every book would disintegrate in my hands. I would return all of their hoodies in a beaten up cardboard box because they didn’t deserve their own bag. It would be a tragic love story, absolutely putrid. It wouldn’t be like Bleed Like Me or Girl in Pieces when you know the love is forbidden and would never end well. My love story with books would convince you that we were the happiest people in the world and suddenly, Death. Sobs that would shake you to the core would be caused by our love story.
If books and I had a relationship it would not be a white picket fence with tulips and daisies growing in the front lawn, it would be a house with bullet holes covered by sheets of colorful paper. There would be a bike sprawled out on the front yard, a tire popped. An old golden retriever would protect the front lawn like it was her puppies. The cover of Don’t Close your Eyes would be super glued to every side. Graffiti that spells out the names of every Maximum Ride character would add a touch of fantasy to the obviously old house, and I am absolutely content with that. I wouldn’t want it any other way. I don’t want a perfect love story. I am surprisingly okay with loving books one minute and despising them the next. That’s life honestly. You’re not going to love all of it but when you do get the opportunity you will love it hard and when it leaves you’re going to let it. Another love may come through the door, or it may be hatred. Embrace it because you can’t solely have love. No amazing love story is perfect, a perfect example is Everything, Everything, To all The Boys I Loved Before, Love Simon, City of Bones. There’s a splash of mystery, fear, and every other bad thing, because honestly, perfect is overrated.