I don’t want to write you something that will teach you a lesson, though I don’t mind if it does.
I don’t want to write you something that makes you feel guilty or makes you reevaluate your life, though I don’t mind if it does.
I don’t want to write Ulysses, or To Kill A Mockingbird, or Fight Club, or A Clockwork Orange for you.
I want to write a story for you that will make you smile and cry, because those two verbs are so similar already. I want you to be lost in the words, to forget you’re even reading a book and to be wandering amid green grasses and barren wastes with spirits and heroes and wandering poor people who never realize how extraordinary they are. But they’re okay, because you’ll see them and be amazed. You’ll wander around shining crystal temples and fragmented Parisian streets and shout with a rebellious voice to the masses and whisper love even louder to a single person, and you’ll wander lost through the mists of your fear and try to find that brilliant light to lead you back home and maybe you will or maybe you won’t. You’ll feel your heart torn out and put back together and your smile will become a little brighter everyday as you learn to cope with this life and all the struggles that come to challenge you. And you’ll never really learn about life from the stories, though for a while you’ll think you are. But really, you’ll only ever learn about life from life itself, just the same as me, just the same as everyone else. But when everyone seems turned against you, when you’ve made your prayers and have nothing left to say, you’ll have those friends, those paper memories in your soul, and they will be there to strengthen you, and steady your hand as you raise yourself out of the darkness.
Is it vain and arrogant for me to want to be something so important to you? Perhaps so. I am a vain and arrogant person. I am a pleasure taker and a lazy one and have spent much of my life being perfectly useless to any long-term good. But now I want to try and change. I want to let go of my easy pleasures and learn to work a little for them, to flex my weak muscles and help them grow strong. I doubt I’ll ever grow humble, but who knows? Maybe if I try hard enough to write you stories about good people, I’ll become a good man myself.
A boy can dream, can’t he?