The Classics

I gazed at the books sitting on the shelf.
"Read them," they said. "You'll like them."
"Such a reader like you will like these books."
The Classics were what they were called.
Big Books. Small books.
Medium sized books.
All well known, all celebrated.
They were truly great books.
And the authors? Brilliant.
So I picked one up.
I read it.
It was the story of a man
Whose hopes and dreams
Were dashed to pieces
In a single blow.
I was saddened by this book.

So I read another one.
And it was the same.
Same person, his hopes and dreams
Ended. Corrupted. Failed.
It was sad too.

All the books were like this.
Their characters had no hope.
No future.
So I asked my teacher why.
“These books move you.
Shock you. Intrigue you.
They make you think
About life
In a new way,” she said.
I could not understand her answer.
So I went and read another book.
It was about a hero who saved the world.
It had a happy ending.
It made me happy.

Then, my teacher saw it.
And she took it.
She said it was a child’s book.
Filled with things like “happy endings.”
Things that grownups did not read or like.
You see, happiness is for children.
Not adults.
Adults, teachers, scholars, parents
Do not enjoy fulfilled dreams
Or happy characters.
They prefer the sad, lonely, wasted characters in books
Who have no happy ending.
Happy endings don’t exist in the real world.
Myths.
Legends.
Child’s play.
Don’t read them.
Read the classics.
And listen to their tales of despair and woe.
Learn about things.
And fulfill your dreams.

But how can we fulfill dreams
If the classics say
Dreams cannot be fulfilled?
Books cannot answer this question,
But we can.





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