-- David Nicholls, One Day
I’ve always been a little weird when it comes to what makes me happy. We all have genres that reach to us on higher levels than others. Some prefer fantasy, some like romance. Me? I love a good tragedy. I know it’s strange, and there’s really no reason for it, but I’ve always been drawn to heartbreak.
I’ve lived a relatively happy life with the average ups and downs. There has been a lot of laughter and some tears. I’ve had my heart broken and I’ve had love, too. But none of it really explains the gravitational pull tragedy has on me. Whether it’s a sad movie or episode of a television show or a book that makes me cry for days, I’ll still sit down and choose to spend my time on it.
As children, we’re read fairy tales and led to believe that everything ends with a stamped seal of Happy Ever After. What is that quote? “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”
NOT TRUE. Yes, some among us will have their perfect endings, and that is fine. But I believe some endings are meant to make you think. They’re supposed to leave you with a sense of what if and maybe even loss. The best endings, in my opinion, are the ones that are left unanswered. Not everything is wrapped in a pretty little bow, not everything ends the way we want them to. Some of my absolute favorite books have made me incredibly frustrated. I recently finished Mark Helprin’s Winter’s Tale. It’s a wonderful story full of hope and heartache, yet it ends with one of the most beautiful open –ended paragraphs I’ve ever read. It broke my heart and I loved every word of it. And while I understand the beauty of a happy ending, I firmly believe that misfortune is a necessity. If nothing in our lives was ever sad or tragic, how would we recognize the good?
Comedy is easy to write. Making people laugh has always come easy for me. But to break someone’s heart? There’s the real challenge. So I strive for both. This world is filled with shades of gray. Nothing is black and white, and I push myself to find bits of light through the darkness.
So I lean toward the melancholy and the bittersweet. I cherish an unexpected, unpleasant twist. And yes, even the macabre takes hold of me from time to time. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Just the thought of it makes me smile.