The Book That Has Screwed Up My Life

Posted: April 24, 2014 in Writing
Tags: , , , ,

As a change of pace, I’d thought I’d share with the four or five or you that actually visit my site, and the two of you that actually read what I write, a tale.

 

This is a tale about a book. A book is a weapon, you understand. It can be used for good purposes or for bad purposes. One might think that the most dangerous weapon in the world is a nuclear bomb or a dirty bomb, or a maniac with a .50 caliber belt-fed machine gun(nicknamed ‘The Hog’ or ‘The Pig’) running loose. Or even a creepy Clown jacking off in your front yard while laughing and mouthing the word ‘You’ over and over.

 

The reality is ideas are more dangerous. Even more so than Clown spunk, which, as we all know, is the most terrifying of all spunk. Even more so than that of a Werewolf on Bath Salts.

I’m not going into a history lesson here. You are reading, which means you are fully aware that before the advent of mass media, reading was the primary source to get ideas across, save for oral tradition. Today, we are so overwhelmed by ideas, through shitty blogs from people who don’t matter, to podcasts, websites, Twitter, and so on and so on. The inherent problem with this instant gratification is that the likelihood of incorrect information being spread like herpes at Coachcella(ZING!!) is very high. There is no fact-checking, and if there is, it comes far too late. The seeds of misinformation are planted within the collective mindset.

Take a look at the Jenny McCarthy anti-vaccination movement. But, please don’t, because it is stupid.

I can't even make fun of this, it is so stupid.

I can’t even make fun of this, it is so stupid.

Any of you that choose to believe a celebrity over scientific fact, well, let’s just say your old pal Kile really loves my friend Darwin in this situation, and will let him take it from here.

 

Charlie?

darwin meme

 

Anyways, where was I?

 

Right, books and ideas.

For me, there is a single book that has completely ruined my life since I first read it. In Third Grade.

That book?

 

Then Again, Maybe I Won’t by Judy Blume.

Yes. That Judy Blume.

Did you think I was going to say Lolita?

Did you think I was going to say Lolita?

 

This book was given to me by a classmate in the third grade. A female classmate, who had her parents buy it for me one night for reasons that remain unclear to me. Now, in my “wisdom” I realize that this was probably her way of saying she liked me. If you are reading this, then I apologize for blowing it and would humbly request a second chance. You know, if you are available. Or even if you are not.

The book is a tale about a teenage boy who moves with his family to a well-to-do neighborhood after his father strikes it rich. Like uber-rich, yos. Totes Robin Leech. The boy goes through all the changes that most men go through, discovering girls, having his first nocturnal emission, and making friends with a neighborhood kid who is not the best influence on him, the entire time, spying on the guy’s sister as she changes every night.

So, awkward kid, night-ejaculator and peeping-tom. We all on the same page so far?

It was none of these themes that ruined me. In fact, I thought this was what puberty had in store for me. Though I lived in the backwoods of Vermont, so the only thing I could peep on would be a squirrel. Still waiting for that first night-spooge, too.

No, what ruined me is a simple sentence that was repeated over and over by our protagonist. His mantra, if you will.

Then again, maybe I won’t

Because of this, Judy Fucking Blume has drilled indecisiveness so far into my skull that it has altered my goddamn DNA. To this day, whenever I need to make a decision, I hear this phrase in my head. This makes any decision, from what exercises I am going to do at the gym that day to what I want for dinner to what time I should go to bed, an act of such distraction and frustration that I often end up curled in the fetal position, sobbing. Most times I will flip a coin and let the coin decide for me. Every time though? I always say ‘best two out of three’ and keep flipping.

Once I was up to best ten of twelve.

I get how a person can read a book, or a news article, or something stupid on BuzzFeed and have their entire way of life, of thinking changed. You see it with radicalization, of religion, politics, My Little Pony, etc.( Oh Yes, the Bronies)

These are the best and brightest of our generation, folks.

These are the best and brightest of our generation, folks.

 

It can be completely dangerous, not only in that it can lead to violence, but in the way it changes a person. Change is not a bad thing, as long as the person going through the change is doing it for positive reasons and no one is hurt in the process. For me, this book contributed to my indecisive nature on my path through life. Do I blame Judy Blume for writing the book in the first place?

Yes.

But no, not really. You see, what we read, what we hear, what we see, it all becomes part of us. We are sponges, absorbing every minute details of what we encounter. We are in control of which items we choose that stick with us, for good or for ill. So, this goddamn book is something that I am choosing to let stick with me. The reasons for this remain unclear to me. What is clear is that somewhere, deep down, I think I need this mantra so I think about my choices before making them. A ‘Look Before Leaping’ if you will. Understanding that, one can surmise that this is not a bad thing at all.

But, goddammit if it isn’t annoying as shit.

 

 

 

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