I finished the Hunger Games last Saturday. Thursday night to Saturday night, one, two, three books. It’s been long since I devoured books with such relish or such prolonged focus; perhaps such reading requires a certain kind of book. I might say that I love Katniss. Indeed I have a crush on her. I believe my girl crushes occur because I want to be those girls; guy crushes rarely surface anymore. The rare times they do, I crush the crush; I force monogamy even onto my little seedling thoughts.
Aside from him, and perhaps Maddy, I find my best friends in books: a certain kind of book. They generally crop up in adventure stories, fantasy stories, stories set in different worlds. They have a firm sense of what is right and they operate to bring it about. They are brave; they are humorous; they are steady in their approach. They are often pretty to but a few, who are blessed with eyes that see them shine. They don’t often yearn for companionship, indeed they shun it, but they rarely lack it in those rare times of desire. And they often have true loves; it usually takes them time to get together, though. 200 pages is average. Children come in Epilogues, which promise more adventures and continued love as the parents grow old together, happy together, entering peaceful times of less adventure but no less charm.
I used to be jealous of their situations: oh to be a knight! Oh to ride horses, wield swords, weave magic! Oh to hunt, to run, to laugh, to love and be loved and have it be real and sure! But jealousy is an ugly emotion. Each of those girls’ decisions shapes the situations they occupy. Are they born with swords in their hands? Do they pop out with perfect aim? Can they speak to the forest as babes or do they learn its paths, find its secrets, make it their home? Do they choose someone who does not love them, or whom they cannot love?
But in the end, what is this love thing? How can I be so certain that I love these characters, who do nothing to me, who cannot even speak to me, who live in my heart but are not real for me to live in theirs. Is that love? Is that what I feel for God? I do believe God loves me back. I cannot know it, but I believe it; I am supposed to, for it seems that’s the only way God’s love works. I can point to the world around me as evidence of God’s love; I can make the world around me become evidence. The second seems the better option, for there are things about my world I would like to change. After all, I am selfish. I do wish I was in one of those books. I do wish, perhaps even more, that I could be one of those girls.
Maybe they no longer have to be wishes. Can I make my world into a place of adventure, of laughter, of sure and true love? Can I be a person whom I will admire, whom I will love? All that is left is to try. And plan.
Can I make my eyelashes stop falling out? Probably not.