I work as a waitress. Last night I had a table of about 6 extremely drunk guys come in. Although they were not my table, every time I would walk by them to fill someone’s drink (They were sitting in a table right next to our pop machine) they would cat call me. I started out by ignoring it, why fuel the fire, right? However, when one of them blurted out that I am a “fine piece of ass” my patience was wearing thin. I turned around, smiled, and stated “Yeah, my boyfriend thinks so too.”
In all honesty, looking back I should have just remained silent like I had been doing. But hindsight is always 20/20. The guys then all started laughing and saying that they were just trying to “compliment me” and that I didn’t have to be “such a bitch about things” *This is when…
Melinda is a friendless outcast at Merryweather High. She busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, and now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. It is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and who is still a threat to her. It will take another violent encounter with him to make Melinda fight back. This time she refuses to be silent.
Speak was not an easy novel for me to get through. Laurie Halse Anderson’s language was viscerally powerful and her metaphors gave me pause countless times. The main character, Melinda Sordino, is a tragically sympathetic character. My heart almost-literally bled for her throughout the whole book. Anderson did a great job of tackling such a triggering subject matter as rape in a piercingly artistic fashion. I was literally seeing the world through Melinda’s eyes, and her story was emotionally tasking to read. I became emotionally invested in her character, and by the time I got to the end, I wept. I wept because Anderson had taken me on an emotional roller coaster ride with Melinda and I didn’t know how to feel when it ended.’
The ostracized Melinda let me in to her inner thoughts with an unceasingly witty internal commentary. She grappled with not speaking, something I could definitely relate with. She closed herself off from the world. Yet, she also grappled with her art project throughout the novel, and by the end, the reader could definitely feel fulfilled that Melinda had found her voice: both literally and artistically.
If there was one thing I took away from this book, it was this: If we don’t express ourselves, we kill ourselves little by little, slowly by slowly, everyday.
If people don’t express themselves, they die one piece at a time. – Melinda
I just want to sleep. A coma would be nice. Or amnesia. Anything, just to get rid of this, these thoughts, whispers in my mind. Did he rape my head, too? – Melinda
He says a million things without saying a word. I have never heard a more eloquent silence. – Melinda
It wasn’t my fault. He hurt me. It wasn’t my fault. And I’m not going to let it kill me. I can grow. – Melinda
I first saw Interstellar alone. I sat rapt in the front row for three hours. I left the theater dazed. I sat in my car, contemplated my keys, took one big breath and began to cry from the core of myself. It would not be an overstatement to say that I wept. Hard. For minutes. It wasn’t about Interstellar, not the story, the plot, the characters. In those minutes I didn’t care about some bullshit movie—though it was undoubtedly the catalyst for this deep, tidal wave of grief. Interstellar captured and conveyed utter loneliness in a way no movie ever has for me (and in a way that Interstellar itself will never be able to do again).
The movie opens with memories, dust, and a sea of corn. Here we see our first landscape of loneliness: Earth. The Earth has nothing left…