One of my favorite movies is “Serendipity” starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale. Sometimes I can be a mushy romantic and the idea of chance encounters and fate are intriguing. If you haven’t seen the movie, after a beautiful day together, Kate’s character writes her name and number inside a copy of “Love in the Time of Cholera” and sells it to an undisclosed used bookstore. She tells John that if it’s “meant to be” he will find the book and contact her. He spends the next however many years haunted by this book, always searching for the right copy at every used bookstore in NYC.
I am equally haunted by this book. Always seeing it on bookshelves and it popping up on the available audiobook titles. I don’t know why I refused for so long to read it. Maybe fear of disappointment. Or the commitment of such a lengthy title. Or the romanticism of it’s mystery.
As I was approaching my Kickstarter goal, I began making my crocheted flowers my supporters would receive and I began to listen to the audio version of “Love in the Time of Cholera”. I drifted in and out of attention to the flowery narrator’s voice as I worked. Occassionally, I would pause it when I left the room, but sometimes I let it run in my absence. This has been going on for the last three days. Just now, I stopped it for good. Eight hours into the recording with nearly another eight hours to go, I’m over it. I fell out of love with the characters. You learn far too early that the love interest marries another man and was happily with him for 50 years. I don’t need to hear of their separate parallel lives. Maybe after she has widowed (I’m not giving that away either, that’s told in hour one of the book) maybe they finally get together (I’m guessing this won’t occur until hour fifteen of the book), I honestly don’t care. Life happened. Holding onto the unrequited love did not stop life from happening, it just dragged it on in desperation. This subject is drawn out enough, it doesn’t need to be written as long as it has.
Has anyone read this? Is the journey towards the final chapter the most beautiful experience of my life that I am just tossing aside?