Nov 11 2021

Last Christmas …

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 0:09

… I received three books as a gift from my best friends. I love reading anything really and I have trouble choosing the books to read sometimes. So, my friends decided to give me a hand.


If you read this blog often enough, you know by now that I struggle to shut my brains off and go to sleep, I am plagued by insomnia and I alternate methods of getting myself tired enough to give no other choice to my brains except sleep. Reading to fall asleep works most times. When I am writing books, that does not leave much time for reading, but nonetheless I try and read a few pages every night. In May I started one of the books sent by my friends; it is called A Little Life and is written by Hanya Yanagihara.

The book started so slow, that by June I barely got through 150 pages. These 150 pages were the introduction to its main characters, and after those pages, the book became addictive, but heavy to read as well. It is one of the most difficult books I’ve ever read, but I think it is one of the books that affected me as well. The book is written in such a continuous way, that if I did not have to sleep or eat, or work, once I got into it, I wouldn’t have put it down. Also, sometimes the events in the characters’ lives were so grim, that I felt the need to take a break from it. There are four or five characters in the book that get a lot of the attention. The perspective changes sometimes, and some events are shown to us through their eyes. The main character is the one I have identified with the most, maybe because of the abuse he suffered as a child, maybe because of how he chose to deal with it, maybe because of his doubts about how other people see him… those are things I can empathize with, because they felt so familiar to me. Reading about 53 years of this person’s life can break a person, because when he is in pain, you are reading and hoping it will stop, that a solution will be found, and then when he is happy, you have this impending feeling of doom, you want it to last, but you have this feeling that it won’t last and that something traumatic is right around the corner.

There was this night when I woke up at 2am, maybe because of the cats, maybe because a moon ray entered my bedroom, it doesn’t really matter now, and I decided to read a little to put myself back to sleep. And there it was, the event that broke his heart and broke mine too and I felt like throwing the bloody out the window. This guy… he couldn’t catch a break. Life hit and hit and hit him and he took every blow hoping it would kill him, but he was still alive and thriving against his desire to do so. That feeling of hoping your life would end, sooner after the person you loved the most died, asking yourself “What is the point of me?”, “Why him and not me?”, “He was the good one, the one with the most potential to live a long, fulfilled, happy life. How come he is no more, and I am here without him?” … I know that feeling so well. I wish I didn’t… but I do. I never went back to sleep that night.

I took another break from the book. There were not many pages left, but it was so hard to read them. Today I’ve finished it… and I cried for half an hour, because the main character finally died, as he wanted to for so long, but he died alone, thinking he disappointed all the persons that loved him, and it just felt unfair. I wanted a different ending for him, I hoped he would heal, and he would have a few good years and then die from natural causes, but no, he was unable to heal, to move on and he killed himself.

This book has given me a new way of looking at adults, I hope I will be able to be way more indulgent with their faults, because they might be caused by unresolved traumas that I don’t know the half of it.

I don’t know what else to say, there are a lot of young people not reading books these days, maybe because of stupid teachers forcing them to read according to a stupid curriculum, maybe because nobody ever bothered to ensure they would love reading, maybe because they find it a time-wasting activity compared to watching a movie. I don’t know the reasons, but there are many books I can say changed me as a person, for the better, but not many movies. Books are a way to view life and the world through other persons’ eyes, or more than one person, depending on how many well written characters it has. Books are a way to witness and learn from other’s people mistakes instead of making your own. Books are the doors the multiverse. Why… why in the world would somebody not love to read?

There are many quotes in this book I could sample here to try to make you understand how totally heartbreaking this book is, but I will put here only one I found at the end:

“Do you think he was happy with me? Because he deserved happiness. We aren’t guaranteed it, none of us are, but he deserved it.”

We all deserve happiness, but life does not care what we deserve. So, grab wherever you find it because life is short and unpredictable. Ask any old person  and they will say that it is better to regret the things you did, than those you did not.

Anyway, this is all I have to say. For now, I will go and paint another wall in my bedroom, while trying to recover from this book.

Stay safe, stay happy!

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