Title: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock
Author: Matthew Quick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
People aren’t as strange as you want them to be.
Ain’t that the gripe of my every other day?
My biggest fear is growing up. My other fear is not being remembered, not being acknowledged. I really don’t want to grow up. I want to grow the hell away from many things at this point in my life but the direction up isn’t on my map. I’m a teenager and being that sometimes can be outright sucky but when I look across at most of the adults in my life, it somehow doesn’t seem too bad. And that’s why I feel like Leonard Peacock’s a kindred soul.
I’ve read Leonard being described as unlikable and hypocritical. And in my opinion, that’s the truest thing you can say about Len. However, that brings me even closer to Leonard because all the shitty things he does are what I’d do, think in the blink of an eye. Maybe that makes me and Leonard shitty persons but that’s the way it is. But you know what? Maybe he and I don’t have our heart in the right places but there is a heart in him, and he tries to do things right by some people.
I’ve also read Leonard being described as a weird, cooky person. He suits up, boards a train and then follows the most miserable looking adult. He goes after them, and sends out vibes, pleading to them, mentally prodding them to give up on this fucked-up life, go live their dream. This seems perfectly reasonable to me. But I’m not the perfect judge of that; I’ve never been able to pick up on people’s eccentricity. Perhaps, it’s because at the end of the day, I’m more given to weird, cooky persons. And for sure, I liked Leonard much more after this revelation. I mean, he’s going after something, he is looking up on future, giving it a search. Who else can say this about themself? Not me, I tell you.
And he’s sad, desperate and lonely.
That’s really all he is at the moment. He’s those adjectives, those exact ones that we can pretend are vacuous all we like, but in context of this particular teenager, they seem like the most apt words even written down. He wants to die but he’s upset when people aren’t able to save him; one could even argue that he wants to be rescued. In his narration, he is begging. To us, to the universe, to the adults.
He makes me damn sad. And it’s not for the fuckery of his ex-best friend that gets me, which was a terrible, terrible, terrible thing. It’s his voice, shouting out to everyone; it’s his desperation, and his questions; it’s every last thing on his list that he wants from the world; it’s him giving a medal to his teacher; it’s him transforming the negative aspect into positive. And really, it’s me looking out for answers. This particular quote is what I’m trying to say and much more.
Maybe years later, after wars and apocalypses and holocausts, he’ll find a partner and he’ll beam lights across the skies and dive in underwater cities. Maybe he’ll find someone or something that overshadows the fuckery of his childhood. Maybe every teenager and every kid will find something similar. Maybe, just maybe. If they hang on. And that’s why I feel like shoving this book down the throats of every person I know. And that’s my argument for why you should read this book. You guys all hang on, eh? Maybe watch Doctor Who if it’s possible. =)
In many ways, we avoided adulthood.
This is such a perfect sentence, I can’t even.
PS I want strange people.
PPS Show me it’s possible to be an adult and also be happy.