on being eaten alive
Have you ever been eaten alive? No? Well, I have. Often. Most recently, yesterday.
The culprit is called “The End of Everything” and was written by Megan Abbott.
It’s a slim book, so I started and finished it within 24 hours. As far as the actual reading went. As for the story… The story is still alive in me, gnawing at my heart, insinuating itself into my imagination and taking over my thoughts. Do you ever catch yourself out thinking thoughts that aren’t your own? Or having inner conversations with yourself, only, you’re not talking to yourself? I do. It’s creepy, but somehow I start thinking in the style, in the rythm, in the language of a story that enthralls me. I talk to myself in a way and in words that I normally never would, but that are intrinsic to that story.
That’s what I call being eaten alive. And “The End of Everything” has done that to me.
It’s a beautifully written story of the friendship of two thirteen year old girls who grew up together and shared everything – until one of them disappears and the other one is left to discover that however close they might have been, there were things that her friend did not share with her. Her whole world is changed and nothing is quite like it was before. It’s a crime story, a story of friendship, a story of girls, a story of awakening sexuality, a story of loss and jealousy and love and despair, told through the eyes of a young girl in simple and beautiful language. It’s magnificent.
And I can’t shake off its spell. I had trouble sleeping because I kept re-running scenes in my head (and I never have problems with falling asleep!). I also feel emotionally drained and exhausted, as if I truly went through all the events of this story. You know what? Delete that “as if” – I did go through all these events.
What do we learn from that (again)? Being eaten alive by a story will make you go through experiences that might never otherwise come in your way. You will learn from it. And if you’re lucky, you’ll get your thoughts back to yourself after some days.
Now go off to your nearest library and find that book. And by the way, have you ever been eaten alive?