I know that I just tweeted that I had no intention of blogging right now but I’m so jittery and just all around full of (weird, fluttery) energy that I couldn’t help it.
Sigh. Why don’t men exist in the world as they are portrayed in fiction? Are they just the whispered fantasies of authors (and readers) the world over? Or are the men of collective dreams actually in existence in the real world?
I’m thinking that my first musing is the one most close to the truth… though perhaps with a bit of the second thrown in. Maybe a piece from one man, a smidgen of another, with a bit of fantasy to fill in the blanks? Irregardless (I like unnecessary words like that one), I still sigh a bit on the inside (and maybe some on the outside) when I read a man so perfect, so strong, so sweet, so sexy… Let me collect myself.
Back on topic, this is why I read. Because of the pure escapism. To read what can only be imagined in real life. To experience that which doesn’t actually exist. This feeling. The desire, the laughter, the sadness. Defeat, unending possibilities… All of that is why I read, why I can often be found curled up in a comfy corner, snuggling up with a book like a long-missed lover.
But it isn’t just the men. Beyond the declaration of true love and soul mates, I crave the action and adventure of a good read. Being transported back in time as I slowly turn the pages, drinking it all in. Visiting countless variations on a supposed future. Crying over the deep sadness created by a tragedy and then getting up and walking away from it, having lost nothing but salty water in the process. For as long as I can remember, I have had adventures through books.
My first experience with love was in a book. My first crush found in fiction. Judy Blume made me giggle in wonder about so many growing pains and I’m sure without her, I would have had a much rougher time with it. Jane Auel taught me about sex better than any sex ed class I’d blushed through in school. Ronald Dahl taught me that it is ok, no, fantastic to be the one who loved to read and that sometimes, grown ups weren’t always right. Stephen King scared the ever-loving shit out of me.
I searched for clues everywhere, inspired by children who lived in a boxcar and a little girl detective. I looked for a conch shell of my very own, scanned my room for little people, believed in fairies, peered through rabbit holes, lived the life of a horse, moved around first the big woods and then the prairie.
So many memories, as real to me as my own. While reading about staying golden, I had my first real kiss. I whispered tales of mischievous rabbits to my growing belly. In times of loss, when I felt most alone, I turned to the classics and Austen and Dickens held my hand and my heart. Numerous poets took up residence in my mind as I learned to let my anger and sadness leak onto the page instead of out my eyes.
Reading has been a constant in my life. Books have been the cornerstone of my existence. Knowledge, entertainment, solace, and hope have been provided to me from the same constant source: the page. While the messenger has changed throughout the years, and with it, the message, what has been important was that it was delivered.
Why did I chose to spend my weekend reading? Why did I forgo sleep and showers to bury my nose in the stories of others? Because of this feeling, this inexplicable thing, that I can find nowhere else.
For I have found my soul mate, the one I’ve been looking for all along, and it is the book.