Tuesday, June 22, 2010

An Obsession Confession (older post)

I finished reading Twilight in about five days. I had trouble putting it down, but I had to work at least three of those days, I took a short overnight camping trip, and had a birthday dinner with my family in that time as well. I was engrossed the way a person might normally be in a new fun story, but it wasn’t until I finished the book and read the teaser chapter into the sequel that I started to obsess.

I had planned on alternating between fiction and non-fiction as I worked my way through my home library. That evening as I got ready for bed, I perused my bookshelves in search of my next fix – I wanted to stick to my plan and start “Why Darwin Matters” or maybe “The Pilgrim and the Great Bird Continent” because my last science book was really enjoyable – but my fingers led me to more fiction: “The Vampire Lestat” (I’d never read that book in The Vampire Chronicles) or maybe “The Mists of Avalon” (I loved the King Arthur legends). But, I couldn’t quite shake this feeling that I was heading downhill and fiction was my navigator. Better play it safe: I chose an entertaining non-fiction book about extremist conspiracy theorists.

The next day, I was looking forward to having the house to myself for several hours after work. I formulated a plan to go to the library and check out the second book in the Twilight saga AND the Twilight movie; I was going to pursue my obsession properly. The library was an utter disappointment: five copies of the book and one copy of the DVD – all checked out. I walked the two blocks to the video rental place with my fingers crossed.

All was not lost! On the way home from the video store I came up with the following: “I just want the freedom to engage safely and responsibly in my obsessions”.

Another story is that I’m addicted to fiction and that’s why it was so hard for me to leave Twilight. I love delving so deep into a fictional world that the boundaries between real and fantasy starts to blur. When this happened in the past, I was able to go with it and let it take me away to wherever it wanted, eventually returning home safely. Now, my “responsible” adult life doesn’t seem to allow me full indulgence of my obsessions and that makes me obsess even more. It’s dangerous.

If this story is the more accurate one, it may be a sign of lunacy and the question facing me then is: Do I want to be cured? I don’t think so. I have figured out a possible way to “treat” this affliction however. The answer is so obvious that I barely figured it out. I must write fiction myself in order to live safely in both worlds. It’s the only way.


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