I imagine it’d look something like that scene from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets where Harry shoves a Basilisk fang into the black leather journal and sticky blood oozes out. That’s how it looks in my head at least.
Ginny Weasley—the girl who loses sight of being a girl when she tries to wander down into the darkness.
I imagine the way shivers might run up the length of her spine when she steps back to survey the damage she did. The way the tears well up inside when she figures out that wrecking something doesn’t make it any less harmful.
And sometimes, you only end up with a mess to clean up.
I haven’t read your memoir yet.
That doesn’t mean you have to go out right now and purchase a journal. Don’t bother writing it all down for me. I’ll purchase a copy the old-fashioned way.
You know, before there were Nooks and Kindles and iPads. Before a book’s pages were waterproof. Back then you could feel the texture beneath each page when you turned it.
You could hold those words close like they were written for you and only you.
Back then I could purchase a copy of your memoir over coffee. Or tea, if you’re like me and still haven’t fallen in love with the black steaming liquid we all rely on to keep our heads up and our feet moving when bedtime is nearly the same as the moment when the alarm clock goes off on tomorrow.
We’ll go to the nearest Starbucks where you can still plug in to everything you need—Wi-fi and gossip, served fresh daily—because I know you’re afraid to skip all the pleasantries and begin with the guts.
Tell me, in more than a few words, why you’re upset or elated or whatever.
I’m sick of stumbling through life making judgments based on Facebook statuses and Twitter feeds. I’m sick of wondering and assuming and listening to the way we categorize everyone based on what they did on Friday night.
I don’t know you. I haven’t read your memoir yet. But I want to.
I think we’re afraid to start with something big like that. Something like what’s keeping you hooked to the caffeine IV each morning.
What’s so bad you didn’t sleep a wink last night? That even when you’re poolside on Saturdays you can’t let the wall you’ve built up come tumbling down?
I don’t need to know everything. I certainly can’t handle it all, and one mini inquiry won’t solve this problem of Judging and Labeling Strangers but I hate the way the frustration wells up each time someone I know starts to frown and whisper when someone else walks by.
I don’t know what’s so bad. They don’t know what’s so bad.
But I want to.
I want the noncommercial version, the one I can’t buy for two easy payments of $19.95 plus shipping and handling. The one locked under your bed. The one you reprimanded every time it started to free itself across the pages of a blank Word document.
I want you to knock down your carefully constructed empire where pointing fingers and speaking slurs in hushed voices has become commonplace.
Level with me, will you?
It’s the only way to help me stop. Don’t give me reasons to bash your decisions or raise my eyebrows or roll my eyes.
Make me listen. I want to know your story.
Start at the beginning, page one of the memoir, and leave nothing out.