Imagine for a moment that you’re a 35-year-old adult male. You tend to think of yourself in serious terms. You had career ambitions, dreams of becoming a writer. There was a time when you divided up your day into 20-minute intervals to make sure you got the most of every moment.
Now, you find yourself ‘Pottering away’ your future.
Snape looks at me from the front of the room as I type this out on my Wizardo-laptopium 1000. He sneers at me. “Are you even paying attention, Mr. Clausen?” His disgust is undeniable.
“Yes, Professor Snape. Writing down every word you’re saying.”
“Lack of sincerity. Five points from Gryffindor.”
The fact that I know words like Gryffindor, muggle, and Hogwarts may be a sign of my abject failure as an adult. I could have been someone…a lawyer, a doctor, a person who doesn’t read Harry Potter.
Why am I not reading material on international relations? Why am I not nose deep in the classics trying to tease out the mysteries of good writing? For that matter, why couldn’t I find a better way to Potter away my adulthood? Perhaps a drinking or gambling addiction. Those are the respectable ones after all. At least people plan interventions for those.
Snape is lecturing about the difference between wolves, werewolves, and muggles in their mid-30s with too much body hair. I stroke the fur on my hand as he lectures.
I raise my hand. I don’t even wait for him to call on me. “Professor Snape, why is it that I’m a 35-year-old man reading ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’?”
He sneers at me again, but before he can squeeze out some snide comment I zap him with my wand while reciting this simple spell.
“Pointless Blog Post Satisfactory Conclusorium!”
Snape smiles a ridiculous smile and says, “If you want to know the answer to the mystery of ‘Mr. Clausen and the Half-Explained Harry Potter Addiction,’ you’ll have to read on!”
And that’s when it hits me — even in literature, we want to move on.
We come back for the promise, not the delivery. Telenovelas, soap operas, episodes of ‘Lost’, pulls of the lever on the slot machine — we come back because of the potential that is teased, not because of any rational belief about the payoff.
Maybe I should start promising a bit more than I can deliver. Maybe I should embrace the cliffhanger!
“The next blog post will certainly be more compelling than this,” I say out loud.
Snape is about to deduct five more points when suddenly he falls to the floor, grasping his chest.
To be continued?