July 22, 2007

I have finished the Harry Potter Saga. 

I’m sitting in my bedroom, listening to my air-conditioner whir (a sound only slightly louder than my girlfriend’s snores).  If I move my eyes up from my computer screen, I can see my harry potter books on my bookshelf… and I’m finding it hard to accept that it’s all over.

In the end… I’m not going to miss the novelty of these stories as much as my friends.  I attribute this mainly to the fact that I’ve never really been blown away by J.K. Rowling.  She’s never been much of a writer in my opinion.  Her plots are redundant, her language is uninspired (especially for children’s lit), and her structuring – stuff happens, then we spend a chapter explaining it – got old in a hurry.  But in spite of all that… I really did love these books with a fierceness I reserve for a few precious things.  I’ve only picked up a few books in my life and not put them down until they were finished.  Vonnegut books were like that for me… Vonnegut and Harry Potter.  The way I see it, comparing Vonnegut to Rowling is just really damn unfair to her… but I do see one very strong similarity between them – they were both damn good story tellers… whatever it was, and however "good" it might have been – it was at least compelling.  Yes, compelling… even if three of Rowling’s seven books aren’t worth re-reading (and I’m talking about 2, 4, and the last one). 

Don’t worry everyone, I’m not going to spoil anything for you… was I pleased with the way everything ended?  No.  No, I thought the end to this story was pretty damn blah… but in Rowling’s defense… there’s no way in hell that she’d have been able to satisfy me.  I’m not a fan of endings… I don’t like accepting that things change.  So no matter what, something would have stuck in my craw. 

I’ll be happy to argue the actual reasons for why I thought that book 7 wasn’t very compelling… but not here.  I don’t want to give anything away.

I find myself feeling somewhat depressed… not so much over losing the Harry Potter obsession that had defined my life over the past few years… but instead over stopping to realize how there is a whole section of my life that is passed now.  I remember when I first opened the first book.  I remember crushing out cigarettes in an amber ashtray, finishing the third book and immediately picking up the forth, while my ex-girlfriend dozed next to me, and raindrops pattered on the aluminum awning beyond her window.  I remember dedicating most of my time in Italy to the fifth book, coughing with every second breath (as I had contracted some kind of horrible respiratory thing in Europe), and choking down tablespoon after tablespoon of Anise-based cough syrup between chapters.  I remember finishing the sixth book across from Erin, the two of us sobbing together in her bedroom at what I consider to be the best line Rowling ever wrote (It’s the last line of the chapter: The Cave, in book 6 by the way).

I look over my computer screen to see these books, and I see that I’ve put a whole section of my life up on that shelf.  I see these books, and with every colored volume can recall a me that seems foreign.  A personality like mine… but different, rougher, less refined.  Less arm hair.  Less belly-fat. 

In a few weeks, I’ll have lapsed into another obsession – Battlestar Galactica will be starting up again come ’08, so it’s nearly time for me to flip out.  My friends and I will argue over what’ll happen to Starbuck and Apollo, rather than debating over Horcruxes… and my Harry Potters will join the graying legions of things I’ve left to my past.

But I know that, with all powerful relics of my memory, I’ll end up picking up a stray volume some day in the future… I’ll run my fingers over the cover, and try to decipher the origins of every coffee-ring or bent page as I leaf my way through.  I’ll close the book and hold it to my nose, close my eyes and smell its pages… and will, for just a moment, be able to remember who I was when my excitement over that very book was barely containable.  I’ll drum my fingers against the covers and relish the book’s hollow report like I had always done when they were new.  I’ll glance at them from time to time, as I transport them from apartment to house to house to apartment… and probably, one day, remember the time when I sat in my room late at night, shivering in the tinny cold of my air conditioner, while my girlfriend snored softly in my bed, and thought back over just how much all of these years and all of these words meant to me.


3 Responses to “Horcruxes”

  1. Georgia Says:

    Oh Andrew! That was a wonderful blog. I also finished my first reading of the book. However will read them over. live in them. escape in them and have them as a default escape plan for some time. Here is a story in 1999 Mike bought the first book for Paul. I remember going to Borders to return that and the GUnter Gras that my dad bought me. I’m glad we grew since then.
    I hope to enjoy your novel/ world as much as I’ve enjoyed Harry Potter. In fact, I know I will.

  2. Georgia Says:

    and now I’m thinking I miss you.

  3. merissa Says:

    i couldn’t agree more.

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