Wednesday, November 9, 2011


With the recent flood of work that has been coming my way, I have had no hope in keeping up. Someone asked me how I was doing yesterday, so I told her that I felt trapped between Scylla and Charybdis.

All I got back was a quizzical stare.

Because of that incident, along with other random words I throw out there, we got a new whiteboard in our cube. The heading matches the title of this post, which happens to be Words That We Don't Know That John Knows. Not the most straight forward writing I've ever seen in my life, but I'm not about to correct their acronym.

The new girl to the cube called up her husband after the board was up and going with a few words. She quizzed her husband on them, and after he threatened to hang up on her because he didn't know the first one, she explained that the word (Scylla) was from the Odessy, then asked him if he remembered reading it in high school. His retort was something along the lines of, "I won't read the Odessy because it will never get me anywhere."

What a pity.

My retort to him comes from the introduction to Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. "Fiction, because it is not about somebody who actually lived in the real world, always has the possibility of being about ourself.

We recently saw the final Harry Potter movie, and it kind of bothered me that I was a lot more emotionally invested in the characters in a book written for young adults than I was with many of the people in my life who are friends or acquaintances. Thanks to Mr. Card, I now have my answer.

I feel a bit bad for my co-worker's husband who won't know the thrill of living a thousand lives and making a million vicarious mistakes through books. I have hope to eke past my own personal Scyllas and Charybdii in my life because someone has already blazes that trail for me and shown me that it can be done.

Keep making friends you'll never talk to, and keep imagining places you'll never see. You might be surprised one day to realize just how familiar your situation might be...


Lana said...

I loved your post and a great acronym! I get attached to characters in series I read or just good books. When I start reading another book I feel like I'm betraying the previous characters. I think I get so invested in characters because by reading about them you get to know them so much better than people we are acquainted.

Johnny said...

I am glad to hear that I am not he only one who does that. I guess by having the author share their thoughts, we get a glimpse that we don't actually get in the real world.