12/31/2010
Spoiler alert!

I don't think my sister is annoyed at this habit of mine, but I do it to do just that. Whenever she buys a new book, I take it from her, flip to the last page, go to her, and yell "spoiler!" only to read the very last word in the actual text.

Of course, that last word won't make any sense. It's "you". It's "casserole". It's "cheerleader". It doesn't really spoil anything as you have, say, a hundred thousand words to get through before you get to the very end. That word is out of context. Terribly out of context, at least until you figure out what happened in between.

Not everybody really appreciates it, though. Remember the Lost finale? "It's all about the journey, son," Christian told Jack, giving us this not-so-subtle hint that it's about those in Oceanic 815, and not the mysteries of the DHARMA Initiative. Not everybody liked it. Sure, the series was really floated as a character drama, but people got so invested in the mysteries that they got annoyed when the initial thrust returned in the finale, and in the middle of the finale. Fine, they handled that badly, but looking back, it is about the journey, else that last word - "bear" or "Island" or "Hurley" - would terribly be out of context.

I don't know what my last word is. Surely it has something to do with death, right? It might be "grave" or "earth". But fine, I'll stop being ridiculous and focus on the more immediate future. The only semblance of a last word that I have comes from that feng shui master my father once consulted. Remember that bit about my next ten years being a bunch of ups and downs before I settle down in some degree of success? Let's say the last word is "happy". Somehow my book will end that way. At least before I die and make everyone around me sad.

Now, I want to be happy and successful now, but things haven't really been favorable to me. Friends? Middling. Romance? Hesitant. Career? Stuck. Heck, I just got a letter from the mail today, confirming the very fear I had a few weeks back. But when I opened the letter, I was actually grinning.

Sure, it's how complicated things can get. I wanted to quit my job but I couldn't, and now I'm pretty much without a job. Quitting will make me happy. Quitting will make me anxious. Quitting will restore my hope. This is crazy. I am crazy. Everybody has said so and now I don't understand what's going on, especially why I'm being quite optimistic about it. Or, at least, not as cynical, like being told I've changed and not exactly countering it. Or saying goodbye to old friends, and saying hello to new ones, and remaining unsure about everybody else. Or all these new experiences, like this, and bleep, and bleep. And they'll somehow make sense of that last word, in a decade or so. The question is, of course, how.

"It's all about the journey, son," Christian told Jack, before a weird reunion scene in what turned out to be the afterlife. Nobody liked it, but looking back, it made sense. Only you don't have much time to celebrate being happy and all. That last word becomes a short-lived thing, before it gets replaced by "grave" or "earth" or something. Before you know it, those new friends and new experiences and restored hope in something - humanity, romance, whatever - it goes poof. But you were living it all this time, not dwelling on it.

And your responses...

Post a Comment