Books Half Finished

I’m reading again. New year, new book. I hesitate to write this (don’t I always), but, sometimes, pain can be relieved by bleeding through a pen.

I won’t name the book I’m reading, but it has characters very similar to the people in my life. Not all of them of course, but enough to draw parallels. I have always been guilty of inserting myself into the stories I read, but sometimes (on very few occasions) it is without fault. Qualities that soak every fiber of my being and words that might as well come out of those unnamed acquaintances’ mouths permeate my mind. There smiles are in my mind’s eye on the faces of my loved ones. Their defeats are felt in my very core.

Their flaws are my flaws.

I believe that every life can be summarized by a novel. That’s the sole purpose for biographies. An entire person’s existence bound in a few hundred pages. One day, a biographer will pour over my works and try to decipher my innermost thoughts. They will try to pull from endless words and meaningless sentences what I have yet to understand. What story will my book tell?

I am halfway through this current book and the situations, all too familiar, blur with reality. Both being clear from one another, but are so close together that involvement is the only way to discern one from the other. The last event I read before having to put the book down was heart wrenching. My stomach and heart crushed together, by lungs expelled all air, and my mind stopped. Fire rose inside of my being and I wanted to shout. My current position is behind a desk working at the library, so this was not an option. That reality raised the pressure even more.

My intelligent thoughts drank themselves into a stupor. My romantic side slit its wrists. My reason tore of its ears and gouged out its eyes. As I write this, my hands are shaking and my jaw is clenched. Is this instability? Is my pain so visceral because I see it as a distinct possibility in my life, or have I been miscasting the characters? Am I the perpetrator? Am I the impetus of the injustice? Will my involvement in this world amount to a devastating chapter in someone else’s story?

These cursed thoughts put me at a crossroads. Should I devote my life to establishing a legacy that others can draw from as I have drawn from others, even though this sort of drive is what fed the roots of the injustice in the first place, or should I live my life for myself and only myself, resulting in nothing but pain and jealousy in someone else’s life?

An inner rage tantamount to Krakatoa is refusing to be abated by thoughts of comfort. Reminders that the lives of others cannot be compared to mine fairly. I will never know anyone’s whole story but my own. These inklings of relief dissipate like snow in the palm of flame. I am angry. I am furious. I am unabashedly disappointed. In myself, for actions of the past. In others, for my keen insight to their humanity. In this damned book, for even bringing these emotions into being.

I know the book has no fault. I showed interest in it and it was gifted to me. Every event entwined with the book make the pain of the dramatized non-fictional event even sharper. Specific points in my memory, in my heart, have been targeted and annihilated. Flaws I try so hard to bury, parallels I try so hard to ignore, feelings I try so hard to deny invade and drown me.

In times of crisis, I have always looked to my idols for solace. I try to find some event that matches what I feel and what I read in the damned book that can offer a peaceful resolve, but I only find more pain. The same injustice has occurred with unyielding disregard for the parties who would be hurt most. What sort of cosmic joke could this be? The people I look to for guidance have suffered the very same injustice. Either as the perpetrator or the victim. There are no answers for me and I am only at the forefront of it.

The reality is, I have nothing to go to. I am in solitude with my hidden anguish and unmatched fury. My mouth tastes of iron. My chest is heaving with deep breaths. My muscles are tightened. The actors whose talents I want to gain, the revolutionaries whose intelligence I want to harness, the loved ones whose emotions strengthen my resolves are nowhere to be found. I’m in a wasteland of indecision and fire.

Only a few days ago I felt the exact opposite of this. Now, the things I found comfort in are the things I find hatred in. Double thoughts and self-betrayal reign in my mind. The speeding locomotive of joy I had has shattered and burned across a thousand sheer cliffs. I see no difference in the ink of my pen or the blood in my veins. They are both instruments for writing my story. I use both to establish my legacy, but at what cost?

I am only twenty one years old and I am continually plagued by thoughts of my future. That plague has now infected my entire being. This virus of what I will become poisons every thought. Every movement I make is pushing me closer to unleashing a self-destructive tornado of emotions. A whirlwind of pain. A storm of words.

No one deserves to be at the mercy of someone else’s pain. The only way I can sate the storm is to write. Write everything. Open my eyes. See past my insecurity. Weigh my options.

Not every decision I make will pull me forward, but I won’t let someone else’s mistake ever hurt me like this again.

As ever, I will write my way out.


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