Retarded People Have Feelings Too
It is 6:06 am and I am crying between bouts of laughter. I just finished Flowers for Algernon, and, to say the least, it had quite an impact on little ole me. It isn't the best book ever written, nor would I qualify it as a personal favorite, but for whatever reason, it moved me like no other book. In the last year I have read Siddhartha, Confederacy of Dunces and Flowers for Algernon, each reaching me in such a personal way like no other books before. I have read well over a thousand novels, countless short stories and a few too many novellas, yet these three works stand out to me, not because of genius, but because they are applicable to me the person, not bob the disinterested reader.
Siddhartha spoke to me on a spiritual level, like Flowers for Algernon, it stirred great emotion within my being; I felt better for reading it, as if the world finally made sense if only for 150 pages. Confederacy of Dunces could well have been my life story, it was a character study of who I am and most likely will become--thankfully, I am equipped with a keen sense of humor, especially in reference to myself, otherwise it would have eclipsed Charlotte's Web as the most depressive read of my life.
Flowers for Algernon is different from the other two: the book resonated with me, the story spoke to me, the words beckoned me, but I don't know why. With the exception of much of this blog and my affinity for Sailor Moon, I am not what one would call mentally retarded, and still keeping in mind I write this blog and have a Sailor Moon doll, I am not genius, either. I have nothing in common with Charlie Gordon; his trial and tribulations are not my own, his cross is not one I have had to bear. Yet upon reading this story I found myself empathizing with the unknown, crying for the alien spectrum found between retard and genius and back again. In other words, I am at a total loss.
I could barely finish the remaining journal entries; they hurt to read. Maybe it had to do with his longing for love, which is, after all, a universal fallacy, something found throughout the human condition. The thing is, I can't say if that is it, leaving me to believe that isn't it. I have no tangible reason to be touched by Keyes work, I don't know retarded people--unless you count Democrats--and I am not averse to mocking someone for being a dullard, just as I am apt to mock someone for having the audacity of knowing more than I do, therefore I am an equal opportunity intellectual elitist. I just don't know the why about my feeling but the how is readily apparent, e.g. my tears and giggling bordering on the insane.
Maybe mom is right, I am just a little bitch.