Yesterday I was sitting on a stalled path train …
(for non tri-state people, that’s the subway that goes from Manhattan to New Jersey) for nearly five minutes before noticing that the train had, in fact, stalled.
That’s because I was, as I can be found most mornings, engrossed in a book. (This one, this week. It’s charming and sad and lovely. So, worth the hype so far.)
I happened to glance up and see the irritation and fatigue on my fellow passengers’ faces. Because most of them were just sitting there. Without a book. And I thought, why would anyone ever go anywhere, particularly an underground public transit system prone to delays, without a book?
When I got home yesterday, I got some not-so-great news. I reacted in what I suppose was an appropriate manner, then (not so) patiently got through my evening routine so I could dive into bed, and back into my book. So I could escape the world.
This has been my modus operandi for literally as long as I can remember. When I got yelled at as a child, when I was having issues with my friends in middle school, or with my parents in high school, my mind would instantly slide sideways to a favorite read, and I would feel better.
Because I knew the world I was currently in, filled to the brim with its problems, could be escaped. I held that escape in my hand.
So I guess books are my drug of choice. They’re what I flee to, what I’m addicted to, what I turn to when the world is a wrong-sized shoe. They comfort me and distract me and make me feel so much less alone.
I think that’s why I
want to be am a writer. Because if it weren’t for books, I don’t know where I’d be. I think the greatest thing I will ever accomplish in this life will have someone, someday, say that that a story I wrote served this purpose for them.
I have to remind myself sometimes how incredibly lucky I am to have something I love so much so easily accessible to me. And then I feel sorry for the people who don’t have that. To each their own and all, but I don’t understand how people who don’t read books survive.
So thank you, books, for always being there for me. I honestly have no idea what I’d do without you.