27 October 2015

Deep thinking - libraries, bucket list and paper towns

Last night, my boyfriend told me that he had never been to a library, which, inevitably, caused a heated discussion and my deep side to unravel.

There is something very beautiful about a library, something that you cannot necessarily place into words. The smell of my childhood library is embedded deep into my brain: musky, soft; the smell of old pages and ink. Along with the smell there is the dull buzz of old computers and the turning of pages; rhymic yet random. There is a warmth to standing among books; in every book there is a story, a different life to live. You can almost hear the characters whispering their stories and begging you to become a part of them.  It fills you with such satisfaction to rush over to your favourite section and run your fingers over the spine; the promise of a thousand lifetimes, the promise of escape or adventure.

When you buy a book, you can often feel obliged to read the whole thing, but if you don't like it you're stuck with it. The books you buy should be the stories that truly touched your heart and influenced you and made you the person you are today. Often when you read a book, it's merely a passing story that interested you, but you don't want to live that story again. When a story becomes a big part of yours you keep it, when you merely pass through the story you should have the opportunity to place it back on the shelf to allow someone else to pass through.

A very important book to me is Paper Towns by John Green; it made me who I am today. It made me realise that you should always do what makes you happy and live your life how you want to live it, not how you're expected to. Margo Roth Spiegelman is such a complicated, beautiful character who I admire strongly, Margo is my greatest inspiration. Paper Towns isn't like other books; it doesn't leave you with that expected happy ending, it's not about becoming popular or finally getting with your crush, its real. Its not supposed to be some fantasy life, its not a typical story that people dream of, it's new and its real. It taught me that people aren't a dream, they're real, they have actual realistic thoughts and life isn't a game that you can win, in reality the story doesn't end with the kiss, it carries on; you get in your car and you drive away. Margo had to stay in Agloe because she felt trapped and Q had to go home because that was where he belonged, you don't always get the person you want but at least you knew them.

I dream to live a life like Margo. I live my life on "which will you regret more?" I want to be that girl who has done amazing things and is an amazing person, who is unique and special and distinctive, I don't want to be a paper girl in this paper town with it's paper people. I want to be me and I want to do the 156 and counting things on my bucket list no matter what it takes. Everyone is stuck in this life of: be born, go to nursery, go to primary school, go to high school, go to sixth form, go to uni, work, retire, sit in coffee shops, die. I don't want to live my life like that. I want it to have meant something, I want to be so happy for my entire life and do so many amazing things because in the end we are always going to regret not doing those things.

And I hope you do to. I hope you are alive and not just living.

Ellie-Jean Royden

5 October 2015


here is a small extract of a potential story:

I could start with the darkness, the way it would crawl into my ears and mouth and eyes the more I screamed, the way it blinded and choked me or illustrated fresh horrors in the corner of my eye before I blinked, which was rare. I do not blink. The notion of blinking in here is like the notion of moving at all. The concrete scratches the inside of my legs like old man's fingers and the whispers of the terror of previous captors causes my eyes to twitch uncontrollably and my hands to twist themselves into impenetrable knots. If I were to reach up and touch my hair I would no longer feel the free wave of a red sunset, but a matted mess made of the silent screaming that takes place at midnight. I could start with the way saliva foams underneath my tongue and spits when I scream or the rags that do nothing more but cling to my skin like dead beggar's hands or the cold that does little to numb the terror that grabs and twists my insides. I could start with the way i have grown accustomed to hissing at the darkness and the blood that is drying upon my cheeks as we speak from compulsive clawing at my eyeballs. But I will instead start with screaming.  When i was first slung into this room i screamed as a baby screams; fresh and high, bright and clean. This scream could have cut through human flesh and pierced through metal. Now my scream is a scream of the dead. My scream is a wail of pain; my throat is raw and bleeding from years of relentless screeching and howling and wailing and moaning and sobbing and yelping and shrieking.  The sound that rips from my throat is no longer human, I am no longer human, I am just an animal. Hungry for the taste of the blood of those who locked me away between the damp, rotten walls that spin and spin until I'm sick onto a different pool of vomit and blood, between the walls and the darkness that stays so consistent; so consistent that it's constantly mutating into something worse. I no longer spend my seconds pleading to the fantasy of God, I am all alone in this dark room and I am never coming out. I am only ever going to taste this rotten air and never again the soft flavour of sunshine, not even the tang of a rainstorm. I can't even die. I'm cemented in time, forever living in this hell.