Last night, I read more of Stephen King’s Lisey’s Story. The book is starting to grow on me more.
Something that I read last night in Lisey’s Story stood out to me because it reminded me of something I had heard in college years ago. Scott and Lisey are talking about love, and Scott remarks that Lisey is the first person to love him since his brother Paul and his father. Lisey responds that many people love Scott, a renowned author, for five-hundred people showed up to hear him read from his latest book, and they gave him a standing ovation. But Scott replies that he does not consider that to be love, but rather amazement and wonder at a freak-show. Those people like his stories, but Lisey loves him—-she is concerned about him as a person, not so much what he can do.
Years ago in college, I heard something similar at JC, which was a Christian group that met at my school. A young man was giving his testimony, and he talked about the time before he met Christ, a time that he felt emptiness inside. He was admired as an actor in theater, but he wondered if people only liked him because of what he could do on the stage. But he told us that he found unconditional love in Christ, and now he uses his celebrity status to tell people about Jesus.
As I look back, I don’t think that I truly identified with what the young man was saying, at least at the time. I didn’t see anything wrong with a person being admired for talents that he or she may possess. Even today, when I do understand a little better where that young man was coming from (a thirst for unconditional love), I wonder if what I want are friends, or fans. I guess that one advantage to true friends is that they stick by you even when the fans are leaving.
But is friendship entirely a matter of unconditional love? Aren’t we drawn to certain people on account of qualities that they possess? Granted, Lisey loves Scott notwithstanding his flaws, and I learned in last night’s reading that he indeed does have them: When he stands Lisey up on account of a seminar, Lisey is upset with him, so he cuts himself as a way to atone for his sins, while speaking like a little kid. A few nights ago, I read that, notwithstanding Scott’s braggadocio, he struggles in the bedroom. Lisey obviously loves Scott, even with his flaws. Yet, she is drawn to him for some reason. It’s not really for the reasons that others admire him, his writing ability, for she doesn’t even like all of the stuff he has written. She just felt safe with him. And I think that she also liked his humor and his easygoing nature.