Book Club of 1: Week 8- We All Want A Connection

Book Finished This Week:

Drinking

  • Moscato spritzer (wine with sangria flavored seltzer)

Eating

  • Disappointing, healthy pizza bagles
Juliet, Naked
Juliet, Naked

I hummed and hawed about how to write this.  This was a Book Expo book from 2009.  Who knows why I resisted it.  Possibly because it hits close to home.  I have talked a bit about my depression in my early 20s.  During that time I had a few things that kept me afloat and one of them was driving around the south (and eventually just Florida) going to concerts for the band Better Than Ezra.  I knew they weren’t the greatest band in the world, but I enjoyed them and I enjoyed the people I met at the concerts.  Eventually I got lost in being a fan.  I so wanted a connection with someone important that I got stuck and was unable to move on to new things.

This was the connection I made with this book: Duncan’s obsession with a connection to Tucker.  His need to connect his world to Tucker’s small body of work is something that I knew for 4 years.  The difference between Duncan and me: I realized where my obsession had taken me and it was not a place I liked.  Like Duncan I tried to run webpages, I tried to be insightful, and I tried to be seen.  Unlike Duncan I was one of many and never made the connection I desired.

I read this book and cringed at Duncan’s actions.  What bothered me the most was not Duncan.  I understood him.  I know we are all looking for a connection to someone we deem important.  It is reflected in the obsession with celebrities.  We want to be important to important people.  We want someone to recognize we are special.  We want to be the number one fan: the best, the most devoted, and the one who understands the artist.

It was Annie who made me angry.  Her apathy with her life was frustrating.  Her willingness to settle for anything to have something was foreign to me.  This book is really about her realization that she has lived like this and her unhappiness with it.  That’s probably why I was able to read the book.  Her disconnection from her reality is the driving force for everything that happens.

For years after my depression ended, I held on to my Better Than Ezra memorabilia.  I had pictures from concerts, ticket stubs, guitar pics, magazines, autographed CD inserts, t-shirts, and so many bootlegs.  I have put all these things in a box.  I stopped going to concerts, stopped engaging in the fan community, and over time even stopped buying new music.  This summer I realized I was ready to put that version of me away for good.

This happened just before I read Juliet, Naked.  I went through my box of stuff.  I still had VHS tapes of tv show appearances.  I had never watched them to begin with.  I had magazines with blurb mentions.  I had more bootlegs than I needed.  I went through them and got rid of bootlegs for shows I hadn’t attended.  I had pictures other people had taken of things I had never been part of.  I had multiple copies of CDs; some still in their shrink wrap. I had CD singles and advance copies that had been sent to radio stations.  I went through all of it and threw away a lot of things.  It was cathartic, as if I was shedding something that locked me into my past mistakes.  I put the rest back in the box and put it away.  These things are a reminder of who I have been and won’t be again.

In other news: I am getting a puppy on Wednesday!

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