I can tell you two things for sure, right now. Right away.
- You’re not ready for this love story.
- I sure as hell am not, either. You see, I have no clue what’s gonna happen. I can’t guarantee it’s a boy-girl love story. I also can’t guarantee that it’s not gonna be . But I just broke up with my Prince Charming, so I feel like this story might end with me finally learn “self-love” or something cheesy like that. Or maybe France unearths an inner lesbian and my story ends up being a girl-girl love story (I’ve seen Blue is the Warmest Color—those French women are a seductive crowd.)
…But I know it’s gonna be a love story. I’m a passionate mother-fucker. It gets me into trouble, but it’s also exciting. My heart’s already thumping a little harder at the possibilities of the last page. I lose a leg in a terrible Vespa accident! I become a nanny for a rich Swedish director’s family, and he ends up making me star in his next film! I miss a train ride and, as I’m sitting there crying on an empty bench in Rome, a kind-faced Italian boy offers me a paper towel (because it’s all he has on him) and the instant our eyes meet, my soul recognizes his soul and I find the One! I fall off a bridge and survive, and make it onto the news! I fall of a bridge and die, and make it onto the news!
Fuck, what if I die?! FUCK, WHAT IF I DIE THOUGH. WHAT IF THE LAST PAGE IS MY MOM SAYING “Sorry, she died. We’re all sad but this is what she would have wanted.”
Life lesson one: Don’t think about how things end.
Don’t get me wrong, this is totally a book. You are reading a book. Good job, book-reader. Keep being literate. Keep reading books. Books are filled with stories, and stories are good for the soul. Give your shoulder a good pat on the back, o’ Reader of Words That Were Not Assigned To You By Your English Teacher!
And then, at the same time, this is not a book. You’re thinking So I’m reading the words of crazy person. She just said this is totally a book. She even put ‘totally’ in italics, and italics means emphasis, which I know because I am a book-reader. (Give yourself another pat on the back).
But the thing is…this isn’t a book because it’s also my life. Very much my life. My life and this book are the same thing.
Pretend you’re walking around, but instead of just walking….it was being written. “[Insert Your Name Here]’s feet hit the pavement at a perfect pace: smooth and yet at the same time just speedy enough to have purpose. With excellent precision doubtlessly acquired through practice, [Insert Your Name Here] moved throughout the crowd while squinting into [his/her] iPhone screen, trying to make out the message just received against the glare of the sunlight. [Insert Your Name Here]’s squint immediately dropped as [his/her]’s brain caught up with the message it read, and the pace, too, slowed to almost a stop. There was no point in going any further now. Now that—“
You get my point. What if—as you received a text message that your ex no longer wanted to get lunch with you because they just fell back in love with their cat—what if, somewhere, your thoughts and feelings in respect to your actions…were being written down? And you could look back on that time, someday, and reread your life in utter clarity. Your beautiful, simple, chaotic, outrageous, confusing, breathtaking, weird (let’s be honest, the hypothetical cat-lover situation I just created is pretty weird) experiences in life, documented in complete purity.
I am doing this. I am writing my life. I am living with words. You are reading a book, and you are also reading my life.
I know, it feels like we’re moving really fast. And you’re thinking Yep. I’m definitely reading the words of crazy person. A pretty self-obsessed crazy person, who thinks I don’t have enough going on in my own life, I should read about hers. Get a life, crazy-lady. I read books, you know. I’m smart. I could be reading any other book and you just blew it, so later, bye.
WAIT ONE MORE SECOND.
I know it’s stressful that I can’t make you any guarantees about what’s to come. I know you’re aware that there are far more dependable authors out there. But for starters—what fun are they? And secondly: I can make you one, single promise. And if I break it, I vow to hold the bonfire party where we all pitch these books into the flames and yell ‘Liar! Liar-butt! Refund!’ if it doesn’t happen.
I promise you one thing. And it’s that you are actually not at all ready for the love story you’re about to read.
Life lesson number two: You should do it anyway.