Paper Towns, Paper People, Paper Lives

Dracofangxxx's picture

We find it difficult to understand that other people are human beings in the same way we are. We idealize them as gods, or dismiss them as animals

So I just finished rereading Paper Towns, by John Green. I haven't read it in years, and I always love his books. They get me thinking.

For any who have not read the book, and some who have, it is not a love story- Not romantic love, at least. Despite it involving Quentin, the main character, being in love with Margo Roth Speigleman, the main lesson of the book is this-

Sometimes it is easier to love what you imagine of someone, what you remember of someone, or what you wish someone to be.

It's a book all about the human condition and how it affects us, as a people, and how our individualism sometimes gets in the way of being a part of the people.

To return to the opening quote- It's a concept that many teens, young adults, and older people have a very tough time accepting or realizing, suprisingly. Browsing Tumblr, I see it from anyone who has the time, breath, and emotions to pick fights with people.

Constant misunderstandings that the people you disagree with, even over majour concepts, are somehow less human or less moral than you are just because you believe different things.

I see often people who think that someone who: doesn't believe abortion is okay, that males can't be descriminated on for sex, that gender is an asinine subject (myself for example), or that circumcision isn't a big deal to get frothing at the mouth about (again, me), is for death penalty, is racist, is sexist, etc... is automatically a bad person, evil, unmoral, boring or otherwise not-intelligent-or-fun, and less human than them, and that makes me a little sick inside.

I often try to put things in perspective with people- Why would they think that way, how hard is it to undermine lessons or beliefs we've been taught for years, and in what lights could they see it in?

Nobody truly wants to, or tries, to hurt people. I don't believe in a concept of evil. People will do a lot of fucked up shit if they're inclined to believe it's alright. Little kids don't see race, sex, etc. as a different factor, little kids just run around and play w/ everyone until society builds in the "white/male = best, the rest are worst but if you can succeed and be as normal as them you're fucking inspiring. It teaches us that POC's are victims, that women are victims, that men are too horny all the time to be raped, that women can/ cannot be responsible for rape in any way, that women would never lie about such, that happy, pretty, popular girls are dumb and tough, slightly ugly, girls who are ~deep~ are more inspiring to be.

I followed this interesting path through my younger years, being intolerantly emotional, "deep", distancing myself from the norm.

And in this way, I fell in love. I fell in love with the idea of a perfect person. So interesting, so misunderstood, fragile, butterfly-gentle but super funny.

And with a romantic love found, I fell in love with the perfect mate to the perfect person I tried to be. I tried to force a perfect romance, a perfect storybook ending to my paper life with my paper people in my paper world. So thin, so fragile, so fake.

And here I am, sitting, remembering the ex, and realizing that it's all okay- because the parts of him I mostly loved were the paper parts. I hailed him as a god, even when he treated me as low as an animal. I loved the idea of him, the idea of it being okay, the idea of the perfect comeback and happily-ever-after, and even now, the thought of him back makes me flutter with glee.

But I think it's time to be more realistic with my life.

The more I think of him as less of a romantic object in my life, and look closely, the more disappointed I am with him. The parts I loved are easily found elsewhere- but I allow myself to think of him as this beautiful object I cannot obtain.

Everything's uglier close up


swimmerguy's picture

Well done


~except me...~

Dracofangxxx's picture

'course c:

you're just a little bitch that never follows through on our plans ;) <3
That's redick!

elph's picture

Cheer up Draco!

Not knowing specifics (nor am I asking), I'll have to take your word on it...

But, you should be able to take comfort in the knowledge that you've not been singled out for such treatment. :(

My guess would be that creating trenchant essays (no one could possibly disagree) and attending to the needs of a yet-untamed and quite obstreperous libido (ditto) leave him with scant free time!

Anyway... both of your posts last evening serve as a reminder of how much we'd be losing if you weren't here...

Thank you!

Dracofangxxx's picture


I AM cheery :P

fact of the matter is I've actually been gone and am about to leave again so I've not even been HOME to have plans w/ him XD I'm just being sassy~

That's redick!

elph's picture

Yeah... I realize the two of you'll always remain...

...the best of friends.

But you must surely be aware that at this juncture you've got some very stiff competition. Hopefully... after camp and before school resumes? :)♥

btw... 101℉ today!