Quilled Stephen King's Dark Tower
Go then, there are other worlds than these
What can I say? I'm a Stephen King
addict fan. I can't think of another author that was more influential from any point of my entire life. I have read every single book he's written and even owned the majority at one point. At least until my father's house burned down last spring and took every single solitary read and reread hardcover with it. I remember sifting through the ashes the following day and I found fragments of some of my favorites - and they were all so very eerily intact, at least a few. Insomnia was one. And I definitely had that for a few weeks after. The Wastelands was another that I found just the cover of. How fitting that in the wastelands of my father's ruined home I find a cover of a book that drove my mind insane. And how could I forget the chunk of "Misery" that I also discovered under a pile of char. Misery doesn't even begin to describe the pain of losing everything you own. I shouldn't complain. My father did lose everything. But to me, my book collection was like the child I never had. Just touching them, smelling them, glancing at them used to give me satisfaction. Knowing that at any moment I could walk over to the bookcase, grab one out, and be transported into another realm was pure bliss. Not anymore.
Part of me had the urge to scavenge the parts that remained and keep them. But sensibility drove me to throw the tattered, scorched pages in the dumpster. It took a long time to get over that loss. I think I finally started to feel better about it when I bought my first Stephen King e-book. And the next. And the next. This spring I decided to revisit Midworld. To gaze at the leathery face of Roland again. It was strange reading the books again and in digital form. I missed the rasp of the turning pages and the inevitable dog ears. I missed falling asleep with my nose buried in the crease.
The second time I read The Gunslinger I was surprised at how brief it felt. It as almost like being brought to the verge of orgasm and being left hanging. Because I knew what came next and I wanted it but it wasn't instant gratification. I had to keep going. And I have forgotten about that in the years since I'd first picked up the series. Within a few days I was gorging on the series. Gobbling down the words like they were carbohydrates. (I am an ex-carber) I cried and I cringed and I screamed "No - don't" in all the right places because I knew the fates of the characters. As though I could prevent their deaths!
And finally I came to the end. Just like last time. And it was like ten years hadn't passed and I was there in the tower with Roland again. Walking up the stairs. Climbing higher and higher. Knowing it was coming to an end was exquisitely painful. My poor husband must have thought I'd finally cracked up. He was unsure how to console me as I sobbed into my pillow, moaning over the end as though I had known them.
I couldn't help the urge to begin reading again. Knowing that Roland had exited the tower and had begun his journey anew. I wanted to reread every single word including the new parts that I knew were there. This time he had the Horn of Eld. This time he wouldn't forget it. And then what? The sad reality is that it would really be over. This way it isn't. So as painful as the end of the series is, my heart knows that it's not finished yet and I can deal with that.
The Tower was burned in my brain this time and I knew the moment I began reading that final book I wanted to quill it. I envisioned the final piece differently and believe that given enough time I will eventually make a different one. This is what I managed this time around. It's not quite done. I have a few more dozen roses to add. I might add some more to the crimped clouds. Next time I know what I'd do different.
Maybe next year.