Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Big Boys Don't Cry, But I Lost Weight So I'm Not That Big and I Can Cry


Here's the thing. Today I went out for sushi with a handful of my girls. I call them "my girls" because you can't have them. You see, as much as this may astound, I Boo Radley'ed my way through high school and when  the police told me to stop luring wise-beyond-their-years children with yarn or whatever in tree nooks, I shrank even farther into myself. That was a joke. I have never had trouble with the police. It wasn't until my girls came along and lured me from my seclusion with shots of vodka and friendship like I had never experienced that I really started to embrace the sass and crass attitude that keeps you reading. You can thank them or file a complaint with them if you think I'm obnoxious. So, I go to sushi with three of them today (five girls total) and the toughest of them told me I was a man, because I finished my sushi before everyone else. Really, I finished it first because I ordered the least amount due to my liking of the feeling when smaller amounts of fabric begin to fit around my waist and thighs and calves and ankles in addition to my torso and arms and blah blah blah.

It was nice to feel manly, so I didn't let her in on the truth. That whole rant was kind of pointless because it doesn't have much to do with the rest of the post, except that I like talking about my girls. If this were a novel, I would have to eliminate that section even though I like it so much. That's what the editors and agents say. So that's what you have to do. Sorry if you don't like that, but tough luck. Good thing this is a blog and I can do whatever the fuck I want, which includes swearing to/at Sarah Dessen readers and petunia planters.

I included the above to merge into the topic of me not being all that masculine when it comes to reading books. Listen, I cry a lot. Maybe not when Grandma died, because she was old and decrepit and senile and I saw pictures of her on a tire swing when she and my Grandpa first got married and she was smiling really big and was not eating cat food, but I do cry when I read. I eat my sushi the fastest, though, so it's okay.

Did I just connect the two topics? Bow down. No don't. Just comment and follow.

Below are the last three books I read and guess what? I cried during each of them and upon finishing each one I sat staring at a wall blinking out tears. How about you suck my dick?

Sorry about that last part, sometimes masculinity gets defensive about femininity, which I find even more insecure than crying in the first place so how about you don't suck my dick.     

My Last Three Reads:

"It was a light so brilliant and white it could have been beamed from heaven, and Brian and I could have been angels, basking in it. But it wasn't, and we weren't."

Mysterious Skin is about two boys that experience the same tragedy, but embrace it in very different ways. One substitutes the event with alien abduction while the other turns to prostitution. Told from varying viewpoints, the novel is intimate and then immobilizing. Every voice is casual enough to the point of believably, but it is a subtle casualty that is quite hard to pull off. A lot of times an author tries to sound like a teenager and says things "rad" or "wicked" too often and creates these pseudo-indie, factory made representations of teens that aren't teens at all. Never create teenagers; create humans that happen to be in the 13-19 age bracket. Author Scott Heim understands this. Who he brings to us are not characters, but real people. He didn't puppeteer for Neil or Brian, but simply gave them to us as they existed. I cried because I made friends with these boys and then I went through the motions of their sordid pasts with them as they came to accept it and look for resolve.

"Charlie, we accept the love we think we deserve."

The Perks of Being a Wallflower was a book I avoided. It was published by MTV and reeked of "no one understands me so I stay on the outskirts of social existence" blah blah blah aka my high school years. I don't know why I finally picked it up but I did and I'm glad. It's about a boy with mental issues and social issues and that's about it. He's one of the most likable and naive characters I have encountered and while his voice is very simple, that simplicity is what makes it stagger to poignancy. I cried because it made me understand what someone told me once and I can't tell you want that something was because this is my blog and not theirs so it would be rude of me to blab all their secrets. I'll make it up by telling a secret of mine: I have been in trouble with the police. Ask me about it in the comments.

"Dade Kincaid is not afraid of the things of which the world is made."

The Vast Fields of Ordinary did not strike me dumb like Mysterious Skin and The Perks of Being a Wallflower did. It crept up on me. At first I didn't sympathize with the main character, because he seemed a bit too whinny and woe is me blah blah blah, but then came a strange changing. Dade seemed to realize I wasn't connecting with him and sought to win me over, which was sweet of him and successful. The plot is simple: boy comes to terms with being gay during his last summer before college. It made me cry, because it showed to me my age and waning youth. It made me want to back-peddle into the JuneJulyAugust years so I could change them to make them all nostalgic with tire swings and playground vandalism and teen romance, but I cannot trade in my nights of Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes and too much junk food and not enough friends. I realized what Dade did, that everything recesses gradually and then suddenly. It's all far away now and back-peddling only makes the bike go forward at a slower pace.

Thanks for reading,


  1. Nick, I just love reading this...and I just added two more books to my summer reading list because of it...haha.
    But seriously, this thing makes me laugh my ass off--I never thought I'd be a blog reader :)

  2. Jill, I just want to cradle you in my bosom. It is so hard to get followers because there are SO MANY blogs. Tell your friends!

    Are you talking about Mysterious Skin and Vast Fields? I think you mentioned reading Wallflower before. They're so good! Especially MS! Make sure you let me know what you think.

  3. I am talking about them! I'm going to bring them on vacation with me at the beginning of August I think, because I needed to set aside books for that that i need to get from the library...instead of buying haha. For now I have quite a large list.
    I will tell people :) There are zillions of blogs but I have never followed one! Until now!

  4. Oh, Jill. It is a pleasure snatching your blog virginity. I hope you like them! I enjoyed both. VFOO is especially a great summer read, because it's very readable and takes place throughout the season.

  5. Hmm, I never knew Mysterious Skin was a book first. I enjoyed the movie, so I'll have to read the book. Wait, I don't think "enjoyed" is the right word...

    I loved Perks back when I read it in high school, I should pick it up again, it only takes a day to get through.

    Never heard of the other one, but I'll have to add it to the list.

  6. Yeah, Mysterious Skin is more like an experience ahahaha