Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fiction: The Great Escape

The world is either too much or too little. There's always either too much to do, too many things happening, too much hassle. The world has problems here and there and everywhere, whether it's the silly day to day issues like traffic and prices that get on our nerves, the personal issues with people we have to deal with, work problems, or the really big issues like the failing economy, famine in the African horn, global warming, wars and peace crises, or the world's people getting tired of how we are being led so they riot and protest and overthrow governments. At some point it is all too much to take in at one time. On the other hand, life gets so boring sometimes, maybe even too boring. Sundays feel like Tuesdays that feel like Wednesdays and Mondays. We wake up, go to work, come back from work, eat, sleep, watch movies, hang out. All days look the same, feel the same, and we end up wishing for time to just pass. Sometimes, all we want to do is escape. I’ve always want to escape.

So I have a secret desire to be a fictional character. I have the biggest crush ever on a fictional character (Edmond Dantes, The Count of Monte Cristo, who seems to be able to do anything but only wanted peace... And revenge). It just seems all the more beautiful to live in one of the books I love so much, or not even live in them, but observe their world for the rest of my life. To me, the way out has been through fiction. Stephen King's books scare me to the bone, Neverland is absolutely the most amazing place that ever existed even in someone's mind; it has to be, it's made up of children's imagination. Fairytales, quests, and journeys. Magic, strange futures, and new worlds. Thoughts and emotions of people that maybe aren't real but reflect so much of the people and the world around us. Mysteries and murders, ghosts and vampires, everything that you could ever imagine and everything that is beyond your imagination. I open a book and read, live with the characters and become the characters, think with them, sympathize with them, cry for them and laugh at them. And for however long I read, I am not me anymore. I am not at home or at work. I am not sitting in that same old café, or in the car. I am inside the book, inside the characters, and I don't care about my world anymore.

I know people who do not believe in fiction, they think it is a waste of time unless it gives a very strong message to the world. They seem to forget or fail to realize that fiction is the result of great minds at work, people who think and feel and create their own worlds to escape to. Fiction isn't about a message being conveyed, it is about telling a story and enjoying telling it. Other people will enjoy being told because it lets them look at other worlds they never dreamed of, it lets them live in the past or the future or somewhere else entirely. It lets them imagine how the authors think and feel to be able to create such characters, what experiences have they gone through to be able to write down the extraordinary events of their stories. Fiction is the perfect example of how amazing the human mind can be; its ability to create people and situations, and weave them into a quilt with so many different colors and patterns. We enjoy it even if it seems too much like life, because we know it is not life, it is a world in someone's head that has come to life, and we are living it with every word because we enjoy the unreality of it all. We enjoy feeling afraid while reading a story because being afraid in real life is not something to be enjoyed. We love the tragic romances in books because it wouldn't be practical to live a tragic romance ourselves, there is too much in life to worry about than a tragic romance. We enjoy the possibilities of having special powers and we enjoy how the heroes of the stories make their decisions whether if they are going to be good or evil, we enjoy it because we would never want to take that responsibility in real life; to have powers or do magic, or even take a ring across half the world to save the world an endless war that it would surely lose.

Fiction gives us hope and energy to go through this tragic universe with all its problems that never seem to end. Fiction takes me out of my own world and my own mind and keeps me alive, always have, always will. Now Excuse me, I’ll go read!

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