Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Where She Takes It All Back and Rambles on a Bit about Humanity

I admit, I've been wrong. I've unfairly judged a book by it's first two hundred and fifty pages, and now I'm in the throes of not being able to put it down. This realization means that I now get to go back and give those other books I put away another shot. When I had this epiphany, it was closely followed by a sinking feeling that what judgment I place on books I might also place on people. I'm pretty sure I don't, but I'm keeping a keen awareness about it.

There aren't many people I don't find completely compelling, so why are some characters in books so flat? It seems unfair to humanity to write a character that seems like a cardboard cutout.

Being in any public space that you frequent, and really watching the people in it - how many have you seen before? Probably none, possibly one. Ok, now think about that. You live in this neighborhood, and you are often in that establishment...and it's filled on a regular basis with people you don't know. People who have personalities and stories. A whole new cast, every time you go there. Variety!

Yesterday I watched a woman at the grocery store browse the paperbacks. She already had two romances in the cart (I almost leaned in and told her to come by the studio for a couple of freebie books that were left in the door slot recently), along with a frozen TV dinner. Maybe she's lonely, or maybe she's a guerilla artist who takes apart the seedier parts of the novels and superimposes them on top of pages of the Bible, then projects the resulting text onto buildings and sidewalks. Maybe that's her way of getting back at the severe aunt who raised her because she never had the opportunity in her teens. Who knows - but I like to think about it.

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