Why We Broke Up?
This is not a book that immediately held my interest. Initially, I was immensely annoyed by the too-long-sentences that made me want to yell, "WHY DON'T YOU USE THE FULL-STOP ALREADY!!!' at the top of my lungs. Because, when sentences are that long without full-stops and you keep using the word 'and' which gives the impression that you are getting incoherent as your train of thoughts are spilled across the pages without considering that readers will eventually lose interest in what you've got to say and what you're actually saying and it's getting really hard to concentrate when I am just skimming the rest of your sentence in hope to finally meet the MASSIVELY OVERDUE full-stop so that my head can rest a little and take a breath before continue reading your subsequent long-winded narration but you just won't let me take a breather and you just go on and on and on and the long sentences gave me quite a headache, so yeah.
However, this book crept upon me slowly, drawing my reluctant interest, building to a climax which pulls ALL of my heartstrings, and collecting my grief for the heartbreak-to-come and then BOOM! Just like that, my overflowing sadness . It succeeded in changing my initial negative opinion of it, 180 degrees.
Let's start with Min Green. When I first read the book, I felt that I was in her head too much. I hated her ramblings. I hated that I didn't know all the old films that she mentioned (or are the films just made-up?). I hated her Arty, hated her Different. I thought her to be pretentious. But then, I realised that aren't all of us full with precocious affectations at that age, so eager to be a grown-up? Didn't we extracted personalities from our teen idols, experimented with some little quirks to establish our individuality? To tell the world that we are DIFFERENT from the ordinary? And then eventually, didn't some of those affectations we experimented with manifested themselves into our personalities, becoming an integral part of us that made us unique to some degree? That is Min Green.
I know Al. I have an Al in my life. Or, I should say that it's not so long ago that I had an Al in my life. (Reminder to self: Had. Had. Had. As in, PAST TENSE.) He, like Al, either kept silent or said I-have- no-opinion although he clearly had an opinion, just for the sake of appeasing me when he knew that our opinions were at extreme odds. Al is Min's constant - Her rock, her shoulder to cry on, her support system. He might not have liked al the things she did, but he was willing to compromise. That is Al. (Though, from my experience, there's no such thing as a guy best friend. You can never go back to that easy friendship you had after either one of you confesses that you have more than platonic feelings for the other person. There will be expectations, followed by disappointment and then resentment.)
Ed Slaterton. Damn you, Ed Slaterton. Damn all the Ed Slatertons in the world who broke our fragile little hearts for the very first time. They say they like DIFFERENT. They say they like INTERESTING. But at some point, DIFFERENT all looked the SAME to them when the sparkle of NEW fades off. In the end, they went back to familiar ground, because it's so much easier.
To be honest, I don't think Ed would have finished reading Min's letter of Why We Broke Up addressed to him. Ed is just not the kind of guy who would bother to dissect the anatomy of their love. For Min, maybe writing this break-up letter would prove to be therapeutic...
Why I can relate to Min Green? Both of us had loved an illusion, a man who is nothing but the perfect figments of our imagination. We so badly wanted him to fit into our lives like a missing piece of a jigsaw puzzle, that we lose sight of reality.
One last thing to take note. From other reviews, I see that the physical book is not only a large and heavy volume, but also expensive. I think an ebook edition would suffice, because the hard cover copy is kind of overrated (in my personal opinion).
My favourite lines from the book:
“Either you have the feeling or you don't. Hawk Davies”
“Ed, it was everything, those nights on the phone, everything we said until late became later and then later and very late and finally to go to bed with my ear warm and worn and red from holding the phone close close close so as not to miss a word of what it was, because who cared how tired I was in the humdrum slave drive of our days without each other. I’d ruin any day, all my days, for those long nights with you, and I did. But that’s why right there it was doomed. We couldn’t only have the magic nights buzzing through the wires. We had to have the days, too, the bright impatient days spoiling everything with their unavoidable schedules, their mandatory times that don’t overlap, their loyal friends who don’t get along, the unforgiven travesties torn from the wall no matter what promises are uttered past midnight, and that's why we broke up.”