… sometimes a better friend than the flesh-and-blood people at our sides, don’t you think?
Books are never too busy, or impatient and if you constantly re-read your favourites like I do, then you can anticipate which emotional need they are going to fill for you too. For instance, I have my “book boyfriend” and my “book family”. Those books/series where I wish I could jump through the page and live for all eternity.
My family is loving and supportive, but we’re not that close and I don’t think they understand me. They don’t speak my love language. I’m just different; from the foods and drinks I like, to my religion, to my sense of style and wildly passionate nature, you’d think a stork dropped me on the doorstep as a baby. My sisters certainly always maintained I was adopted (it isn’t true).
And so I return to my books. On days that no one is around and I’m bored or lonely, curling up with my favourite characters is like visiting with an old friend. And when an author delays the release of the next book in that series, I start to feel like there is a little piece missing. Until I realize, it’s those friends, that world that I miss.
And then there are those little things you come across in life, that remind you of a particular friend. In my case, sometimes it’s a friend in the fictional world that I am reminded of, more than the real one.
Lately I have had Dmitri Novikov on my mind, a character created by Ann Mayburn. I was reminded of Dmitri by Khal Drogo in season 1 of Game of Thrones. Two completely different worlds, but at their core, they are very much the same person. Both are absolutely ruthless and cruel warlords in complete control of their lives and empires, so it would seem, but genuinely love and cherish their wives. Each would break every rule they enforce to protect their love.
I was thinking of Dmitri again this morning. I was singing along to a cover of Lana Del Rey’s Young and Beautiful and this phrase reminded me of my favourite Bratva Lord.
“Dear Lord, when I get to Heaven
Please let me bring my man
When he comes, tell me that you’ll let him in
Father tell me if you can”
Dmitri is not the best of men. Case in point, he is the Pachan of his family in the Russian Mafia. But he and his wife Rya love each other more than anything else and she is religious. I can imagine her praying, begging God to let her bring her man with her to Heaven when the time comes, because there is no way she would go through those gates without him. She’d give up her place in Heaven to be with him instead.
It’s a little bit funny, these connections that my brain makes. Out of nowhere, my real life and pretend life collide, in the most surreal of moments. The worst thing is that no one around me gets it. Even bibliophilic friends don’t, because we generally read all different things.
So hopefully someone out there in the big wide interwebs will understand, and if you feel alone, I hope that you know that I am on this end of my computer feeling the same way. And in the mean-time, I’m probably curled up re-reading the same books as I was two years ago.
Because books are our friends.