I’m enjoying my renewed favorite pastime. I’ve recently read a few biographies making light of tough times. Authors using humor as a coping mechanism. I can relate as that’s my modus operandi as well. Laughter truly is the BEST medicine and attitude IS everything. Not magic like one can wish herself well but at least the time is tolerable as life goes on … until it doesn’t.
So what’s this got to do with Owen Meany? Well the novel: A prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving is a story with laughter. A story of two best friends growing up together. I am struck by how a fictional story can be so realistic. The characters are people you’d swear you knew.
Owen is supposed to be very small in stature and have a very distinct voice. Mr Irving gets this point across by using all CAPS when writing Owen’s dialog. I find myself reading with my inside voice mimicking a gravelly voice trying to yell. My own one man show. And I’m laughing out loud at some of the scenes. People in this waiting room are looking at me as I am reading because I can’t help but laugh.
I don’t remember much of seeing Simon Birch, the movie this book is loosely based on but I know that movie can’t do justice to what my mind makes up reading his written word. Mr Irving, you’re a genius.
Picture this … The occasion is a wedding. A large New England homestead. The garden is set for the reception. The guests are only allowed to use the downstairs bathrooms and there is a long line.
Hester tries to sneak upstairs to another bathroom. After all she is family but grandmother catches her and says no.
Her two brothers Noah and Simon along with John and Owen tease Hester and say ha ha we will just use the bushes. Too bad you can’t. Hester storms outside after the boys. Makes them stand guard while she uses the bushes too. For some unknown reason her white cotton panties come all the way off and are given to Owen to hold. He freaks out and shoves them in his suit pocket. After putting them on his head that is … lol!
Some other silliness ensues and Owen refuses to return the undies. Hester hisses at him to give them back but he’s always purposefully standing by an adult saying are you sure you want then back now?!? Hester hissing no not now!
Eventually as the bride and groom are leaving the reception a thunderstorm hits. Hester’s pretty yellow dress is plastered to her skin and her mom seeing this yells Hester what is wrong with you and why aren’t you wearing your panties? Hester runs inside crying as the boys just look at each other. Like don’t ask me. Years later the belief is that Owen kept the underwear … all these years… as a souvenir … just like the armadillo claws. Another funny story within the story.
Can’t you just picture it? The boys: Noah, Simon, Johnny and Owen with poor Hester. The teasing of brotherly-cousinly-friendly love. I’m only 28% into this Kindle edition too. This is a never ending saga and I’m in for the long haul. Won’t you ride along with me?
As always, more to come …