Why I am writing this…
For the 3 of you all who actually read this: I got a comment from a friend that she wanted to read more about the last post. Generally, my plan was to publish an excerpt of each section I’m working on, and since there are a whole lot of sections, I think I will stick with that for the most part. But, to appease Foz, here’s the rest of the section called “Because words”.
In general, I’ve always been a reader. In high school, I had the good fortune to have English teachers that recognized I needed a challenge. Also, I needed more—books, words, stories. I needed to escape. I wasn’t so skilled at being a teenager. Awkward as fuck, somewhat athletic but not amazing. Really bookish. Not popular, not a social pariah. I was a weird kid. Too serious, too worried about shit I couldn’t control. Out of place. Likely somewhat OCD. Books filled a few voids, made it less about how I felt and more about what I could experience (vicariously, perhaps).
My 10th grade English teacher gave me Tolstoy. After I finished Of Mice and Men in a day, she realized I was super bored. So she gave me a copy of Anna Karenina and told me to spend our regular class period across the hall in another teacher’s classroom.
The fixation with the Russians opened a lot of doors of imagination. Anna Karenina led to War and Peace. Tolstoy led to Dostoevsky. Junior year led me to my first serious and memorable bout of depression. I nursed my unknown state with words and fears. I thought about terrible things. I wanted to do terrible things. But I didn’t. I hid in the forest of words and resolved things would be different when I went to college, when I grew up. I never knew how little I understood.