September 2, 2009
Today I saw a crow on a white birch. The tree had no leaves, and the sun fell on its top branches. I wondered if crows can see colors and if they feel the warmth of the sun.
Today I felt cold and I digged in my closet for a sweater. I looked at the thermometer and saw summer pack its things and leave. I dreamed about living in a place where it is always warm and cloudy.
Today I saw a high school couple kissing. They held each other like they were the most precious, fragile thing. I smiled and turned away and hoped they were happy.
Today I watched a maple samara dance in the wind. It soared and swirled for minutes, as if the life it carried inside had somehow found a way to express its joy.
Today I saw a black crow on a white birch. The tree was dead, bereft of leaves. The sun fell on its top branches, suspending the morning up high where I couldn’t reach it. I wondered if crows ever have nightmares in which they are falling and they can’t move their wings.
Today I felt cold and I remembered fear. I looked at the thermometer and saw summer betray me. I told myself that when the sun is tired, it lets the cold burn us instead.
Today I saw a high school couple kissing. Checkered tights and a buzz cut were imitating what they thought they should be feeling. I smirked and turned away and wondered why some people even bother.
Today I watched a maple samara swirl madly in the wind, and I wondered if the seed inside felt nausea.
July 15, 2008
by Stephen Chbosky.
Here’s how the novel starts. If such a beginning can leave you indifferent, you’re very unlike me.
August 25, 1991
I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand and didn’t try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have. Please don’t try to figure out who she is because then you might figure out who I am, and I really don’t want you to do that. I will call people by different names or generic names because I don’t want you to find me. I didn’t enclose a return address for the same reason. I mean nothing bad by this. Honest.
I just need to know that someone out there listens and understands and doesn’t try to sleep with people even if they could have. I need to know that these people exist.
Charlie is a high school freshman caught between the colliding forces of inner turmoil and outside influences. The novel tells the story of a year in his life, in the form of letters to an anonymous friend. While it was difficult, at times, to believe that such deep thoughts could have originated from a 15-year-old, that didn’t stop me from feeling and relating with the character.
One could say the novel is a testimony of the friction between two desires: to embrace life, and to run away from life. But it is discussing a lot more than that. Since I have not grown up in an American high school environment, I cannot think of this in terms of “realistic” or “non-realistic”, but it certainly opens a clear and honest window into the world of a teenager.
I find it very lucky, if not downright miraculous, that Charlie manages to find a mentor (Bill, his English teacher) and friends (Patrick and Sam), who are older than him. Bill tells him to participate and stop using thought to remove himself from life. V fubhyq yrnea fbzrguvat sebz gung…
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