Thursday, July 30, 2009

Random Book Review

I have a recurring nightmare about the time my mom and dad were arguing and just as my dad was going to shove my mom, I stepped in between the two of them in a stupid attempt to get them to stop yelling. At this point, I accidentally got hit, I fell behind this ugly, beaten up couch, and my parents finished yelling at each other before my mom eventually came around the couch to see how I was doing. My sister, meanwhile, had hidden herself under her bed, as close to invisible as she could make herself.

I just finished reading dreamland, a young adult novel by Sarah Dessen, one the many books given to me by my bestest friend to take home with me after my visit with her. For the most part, it's kind of a meh book about dating violence. But there is a powerful scene in which the main character goes to a place that has become her sanctuary and finds that her sanctuary has been essentially destroyed. She takes a small keepsake from the sanctuary to help her remember what it once was like.

And as I read that scene, I remembered that couch. It was brown. The material was a teeny tiny plaid and the up and down stripes were raised, making it rough against your skin. The mattress that unfolded from it always had sheets on it. The cushion on the right side was not as stuffed as the others and you could always feel the springs poking at you, although when you looked down, you could never actually see a spring.

Behind that couch, I'd rub my cheek up and down that coarse material as I hid. I hid there regularly whenever things were too much for me. Id' But that day, the day I was accidentally thrown behind the couch, it stopped being my sanctuary. But I still have that memory of my cave behind the couch, rubbing my face raw, reading a book, feeling safe, feeling like no one could touch me back there.

Isn't it crazy how words, intended for a completely different purpose, can send your mind into a tailspin of memories you can't stop?

It's not the best book in the world, but I hope it gives comfort, in some small way to any adolescent going through a rough patch.

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