I’ve been reading a lot lately. And when *I* say “reading a lot”, take your personal assumptions about what constitutes an inordinate amount of books and multiply it. By at least a few. Maybe more.
Luckily, I’m an incredibly fast reader, so I’m able to maintain my full-time job and a respectable social calendar while in this obsessive reading jag. Of course, the social calendar is a pale shadow of my previous, rather insanely packed one, and my sleep schedule is feeling a pinch . . . but that’s neither here nor there.
What is concerning about this recent obsessive need to read is the subject matter: I’ve been heavily into Vampirism lately. And this is weird.
I’ve never been much into fantasy/sci-fi before. I still wouldn’t consider myself to be, actually. I have a healthy fear of the world of Dungeons & Dragons and/or the Renaissance Faire – of the tendency for those who feel unaccepted by the mainstream to create an alter-ego or dream of a parallel universe or a rip in the time/space continuum. That’s not my particular brand of escapism.
I prefer to stay swimming along in the mainstream, creating my own eddies when I just can’t go with the flow. I am who I am. I don’t need to imagine myself as something “other”.
So why is it that these freaking vampire books have me so obsessed lately? I don’t wish to be a blood-donor (just ask the myriad mosquitoes I’m currently at war with. I think they’re terming it a massacre). I don’t find animated corpses “sexy”. I don’t believe in vampires or werewolves, or the other mythical beings that populate these novels (and if they do exist, I’m perfectly fine with never encountering one). I CERTAINLY don’t want to live forever – I’ve had a fear of that concept since I read Tuck Everlasting in fifth grade. Ick.
So, why? Why the latent OCD tendency?
I finally came up with it. And now it feels a bit obvious.
You know the rather common “getting to know you” question about Superpowers? “Which Superpower would you choose?” Most people pick flying or time travel, though I’ve heard super-strength and super-speed as well. But mine has always been the same: omniscience. As I grew older and more neurotic, I added the caveat of “SELECTIVE omniscience, with the ability to turn it off.” One thing I’ve learned from Superheroes: you just never get to sleep well again. I’m just selfish enough to want peace and quiet for eight hours (or more) a day. I figure I could “catch up” on what I wanted to in the morning.
[And this selfishness, boys and girls, is why I don’t DESERVE omniscience. Anyone who has it should be the type of person who will work tirelessly for the greater good, rather than just satisfying their curiosity.]
Anyhow, the two series that I’ve been sucked into are Twilight and the Southern Vampire Mysteries (a.k.a. the Sookie Stackhouse books). Both write from the first-person perspective (not generally my favorite, of course), but prominently feature telepathic main characters. (And a rather overdeveloped, if skewed, sense of morality. That’s fitting, too, but not the point of my epiphany.)
Aaaah, telepathy. Not as good as omniscience, because it’s subject to your own short-sightedness as well as the short-sightedness and fleeting interests of the people around you, but it’s certainly intriguing to someone like me. I very rarely “get” people, and even the people who I know very well leave me questioning their logic and motives frequently. Human nature is exceedingly complicated.
I certainly know that telepathy is not all wine and roses, if it in fact exists at all – eavesdroppers rarely hear pleasant things about themselves, after all. And I’m sure it’s noisy and disconcerting and would make one pretty darn jaded about people in general.
That being said: how COOL?! I would love to know who to trust and the true repercussions of my actions. To understand how my rather dysfunctional self is regarded by the people around me. I could handle the rest, I’m pretty confident.
[But, of course, this could just be the most acceptable answer my mind can glom onto, for not wanting to be a total teenage girl! ]