A Little Perspective From Tom Church

My week has been fairly eventful, what with all the work I’ve had to do and all the things we’ve had scheduled.

Last Monday, I went out with Erin to a Chic-Fil-A restaurant and had a very nice, cozy dinner. Afterwards, we played Pokemon, and little kids watched. One actually pulled up a chair to spectate for a while. It was all very flattering. We dressed up and ate with an unlit candle and a tablecloth adorning our crummy table, and of course we also brought dinnerware and utensils and all. We ate without them, on accident.

Work was nice, and any time I wasn’t at work, my family went to the beach. It was gruelingly hot, but I saw some interesting things: for one, I saw an Indian family, perfectly cheerful and happy to be outside. But the three boys, maybe around twenty-ish, played as rambunctiously and as hilariously as young children. They splashed water in each others’ faces and screamed and grinned wickedly, and all I could do was laugh because really, that’s how I want to be at that age.

A pleasantly plump child in a blue safari hat toddled around the beach, looking concernedly in on other peoples’ business: our sand castles, our gaping sandholes, and our umbrellas were all strange and even foreboding sights for this overly cautious and suspicious little tike. He once fell backwards onto his rear and, consequently, took on a look of pure frustration that was both delightful and a little off-putting to see in such a little guy. He got back on his feet and ran down the beach, away from us all. His family had a hard time collecting him.

During the week, I also started and finished Life of Pi by Yann Martel, a required summer reading assignment. I found it to be a book that has yielded the best religious message I’ve ever drawn from my reading experience. It was a heavy theme contained in such a light and easy story.

I also have to read Catcher in the Rye, or should I say rereadI’ve read it once before, and at the time, had declared it my favorite book. I now rescind my proclamation. Holden may just be my favorite novel character of all time, however the story to Catcher is not my all-time favorite. It is simply too hard to decide what is, after having read all that I’ve read. Pi has taken its place as my favorite religiously-undertoned novel, to be quite specific.

I also began Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro: a summer read that was chosen from a very large list of novels. I chose it because I’ve had it recommended to me. It is decent thus far; it is a novel about love and about a dystopian society hidden away in England during the 1990’s. I’m very close to finishing. My qualm with dystopian novels is that they often have very little to say. After Anthem, 1984, Brave New World, and all those other classic dystopias, it seems kind of redundant to reinforce the fact that these made-up societies that have so much in common are bad. While Never Let Me Go isn’t entirely to do with its dystopia aspect, and does create a unique one, truly, it is not living up to my expectations. It also has a love triangle of sorts, another added cliche; although I will admit that I do enjoy that portion of the plot.

As for dystopias, there are a million ways to write a bad dystopian novel and only a few ways to write a good one. This is what I believe.

On the 4th of July, I had to work. When I got off, I arrived home at about 9pm. I told my parents I wished I could have seen fireworks, or at least more of them, and they told me it was too hot and humid to set them off, or to go see others set them off. I was quiet as they explained to me how fields were catching fire and the fire department advised all residents in the county to stay inside and abstain from fireworking.

My dad called me out later though, and we watched fireworks pop in the distance, wisecracking about things and leaning up against the hood of his Jeep. It was a nice way to end a tiring day.

My week has been wonderful.

-Thom
aestheism, not atheism.

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