What I did in high school instead of reading all of the assigned books was, I read spy novels and mysteries and books about how to make different kinds of art. And then I wrote papers that contained almost entirely imaginary opinions and observations about the stuff I didn’t read. Which of course included Lord of the Flies, which I nonetheless had lots of deep thoughts about, such as, “the conch symbolizes man’s eternal quest for an efficient way to announce meetings,” and, “Golding’s classic novel demonstrates that coconuts are a delicious treat morning, noon, and night.” Note, by the way, that all of this happened about nine billion years ago and that if I had it all to do over again, I would totally read all of the assigned books as well as the spy novels. Because then I wouldn’t have written silly parody papers but instead real live papers that would’ve possibly resulted in a less angry English teacher, who I’m sure still has PTSD about me. Which I feel a very little bit bad about, nowadays.
Anyway, I took a break last week from the Sisyphus lifestyle and went to a semi-local thrift store for a little unfresh air and also because it’s the main place I can get a huge quick dose of mono no aware, which I need to get, from time to time. And I found a dollar copy of Lord of the Flies that looked, for once, like fewer than twenty people had read it already. So out of guilt, mostly, I bought it and immediately started reading it, even though I’m also reading pretty much literally twenty-seven other books at the moment (some of them not even spy novels, believe it or not).
It’s a ripping yarn so far, and if, like me, you’ve waited a while to read it, wait no longer. But no spoilers, please! Like, so far I’m feeling pretty optimistic that Piggy’s going to save the day with a brilliant rescue scheme, but when I mention this optimism to people, they kind of give me looks that hint my optimism might be misguided. But I don’t want to know that I’m wrong, or not yet, anyway. Let me think Ralph will help Piggy build a bamboo hovercraft and that they’ll escape to Narnia on the next tide. I’ll find out soon enough what really happens. It’s just that I’ve waited nine billion years to get to this point and in about fifty more pages the wait will be over for good, which is sad. Although, I still have Death Be Not Proud to look forward to. I assume that one has a mushy old happy ending, as usual, because that’s the American Way of stories, but let me savor not knowing for sure for just a tiny little while longer.
Update: Okay, so, that book didn’t end how I thought it would end, and now I feel about the way Ralph felt. But I’ll keep an eye out for the sequel, which I’m sure has a way happier ending, because that’s how these things usually work, right?