Friday, March 17, 2006

Of prep and a circle left

For an uncomfortably long time (my dad kept wanting to buy for me), I avoided Prep. Ostensibly for the bland title and objectionably bland cover.

Really though, I was staving off, in equal parts, envy and a premonition of distaste. I worried that I'd find it either very good (envy: why didn't I write) or so thinly superficial as to be a caricature of the school I knew (Groton) and so I'd resent the opportunity squandered to write about a subject so messily/densely/ripe for a good plot.

I finished it last night and (checked my ego for signs) feel something beyond envy and no twinge whatsoever of distaste. I feel - odd – comrade-ship and immense admiration.

(my note on the back page: there, I don’t need to write it. Groton’s not universal but adolescence is and might as well happen and be observed within the fishbowl/hopper of The Circle as anywhere.)

Not only don't I ever have to write the seminal book on the life of an observant/ fringe-dwelling Grotonian girl (as if I could write like Curtis - some sort of brilliant in her fluency), but I can enjoy reading about experiences so uncannily close to my own - without thank god having to relive them - and therefore share what I'd never shared with anyone before.

(Nor explained to myself.)

Curtis Sittenfeld aced it, trumped it down to the last scene in the green line/red line Park Street Station.

Life post-Groton was never - thank god - as intense again. It's made individuality and personal choice appear each day as a blessing and sweeter. For the institution only healthy respect + and for myself, relief each morning that adolescence a now safely almost-two-decades in my rear-view, fading fast.

C – tipping hat to a writer and recorder

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