Friday, May 27, 2011
Me and the Boy Who Lived
I bought my copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the fourth grade when I was nine. So, basically, the book is a decade old.
Things weren’t going so great for me back then. My parents had just split up, and, since I was an only child, they were fighting over who got to keep me—like I was a pet or something. I turned into a total freak over night. I stopped speaking during class, but I managed to piss off both my teachers and classmates every time I opened my mouth. The confusion, pain, and shock of it all forced me to dig a hole inside myself, and I just burrowed in, wishing everything would go away.
During one of our rare trips to the mall together, my father bought me a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I was addicted to Nancy Drew mysteries at the time, and I don’t know why I chose the book with a strange-looking boy on the cover. Maybe it intrigued me. I forgot.
This might sound cheesy but Harry Potter became the figurative light at the end of the tunnel. Here was a boy who was completely miserable, and, suddenly, he found this amazing magical place where he was famous, and all sorts of adventures were waiting for him. I walked into Hogwarts, and never wanted to look back. Harry Potter showed me that someone could possibly be more miserable than I was, and, somehow, I stopped feeling so alone.
Today, more than ten years after I first grabbed the book with my grubby nine-year-old hands, I started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone again, and it’s still as amazing as I first thought. If the world suddenly makes me want to be invisible again, I have a feeling Harry Potter will still be the figurative light at the end of the tunnel. No matter how old I am.