I began reading this Stephen King novel last July when I was returning from a trip to Colorado. I had no idea at the time that his character Paul Sheldon was just on his way to Colorado; he had finished a book, destroying the character that had made him famous, and I was (am still) trying to start a book with forgettable characters in juxtaposition. In my window seat on the plane, I imagined that the lights below that illuminated cities in dotted clusters, the dark sea between them, looked a lot like the midnight’s snow in the beam of Paul’s headlights. Somewhere below we had passed one another. Maybe I saw him go off the road, or maybe I saw his tires peering out of the snow like black half-closed eyes.
Here it is the end of the year and I am just done processing what I believe I absorbed from the book. Writing can be alienating, a misery shaped like keys on a keyboard or words on a notepad. Of course this isn’t true for everyone. I have been hit with a multitude of self loathing, self doubting roadblocks when it comes to my own writing and I envy those that haven’t. But perhaps you need that misery to push on. Paul would never have written another Misery novel if Annie Wilkes hadn’t broken his legs and tied him to the bed; it’s not about being forced it’s about getting past that self hating head space and stretching your writing muscles until you’ve created something you can be proud of.
Reiner’s adaptation of the book is really good. Though, as there often are, there were a few things left out. If you’ve only seen the movie then you missed a scene in which two police officers were killed by Annie. Looking for the missing famous author, two officers found themselves in Annie’s driveway, interrupting her as she was cutting the grass on her riding mower. Paul, who in hindsight caused the cops to lose their lives, broke the window of his cell and got their attention. Having discovered Paul captive in Annie’s house, the cops had to go so Annie beat them with a blunt object and ran over their heads with her mower. In short: the book was better.
Here it is the end of the year and I am back in Colorado. I packed up my life in my little car and moved in with my boyfriend. I imagine that I am like Alice in Wonderland; I followed a little rabbit named love sixteen hundred miles away from home.