“Do I Deserve This?” Reflection and a manga review

On my trip to see the tree at Rockefeller Center for the first time, I of course had to hit up the bookstore the very second I saw one. There’s an organic experience to shopping for physical books in a bookstore rather than just ordering whatever’s interesting on Amazon. I get to pick up the book, browse the art, feel the paper quality (yes, this is a factor in my book purchases) and see if the physical item is in good enough condition for me to invest my money (yes, I have received damaged items ordering online). With these criteria in mind, I purchases No Longer Human volumes one AND 2 by Usamaru Furuya and Osamu Dazai.

It is an amazing book. It’s touted as “semi-autobiographical” and is a manga version of the novel, which I also plan to read. It’s written in the style of the main character, Yozo Oba’s journal as he sorta meanders from woman to woman, drink to drink; bouncing between homelessness and living in the back rooms of bars all the while struggling to understand these strange people we call, humans. It’s pretty extraordinary all the stuff this kid goes through and this book was good enough to get me thinking: Do I deserve to keep a journal?

Of course I have blogs. Everybody and their cat as a blog or perhaps two or three. I mean that secret book some have, in which all the thoughts we wouldn’t DARE put online (although some would which is why sites like THIS exist) or even tell our best friends. But I keep a paper journal for my random musings and what I have learned is called “Reflective Journal Writing.” And it’s not an effing diary. In the immortal words of Katchoo: “A diary will embarass you, a journal will destroy your life…if ever found and read by anyone who even remotely knows who you are.”

Unlike Yozo, I am not a womanizing, unemployed, drunk who is so attractive, nobody holds these character flaws against me. Sure, there are things about me that make me interesting or frightening to some people but is it enough to justify inflicting my horrid handwriting on pretty pages that quite frankly deserve better? Or is the life of a Pagan working mama and writer interesting to future generations of people who wonder about regular people; figuring not everyone can be Hunter S. Thompson? OR do they want to know the freaky private lives of “normal” people? One thing is for sure, I am certainly no Yozo. I have no rags to riches story, no druken, drugged out Thompson-esque adventures. Just lil ol’ Lenni. Is she worthy of a journal?

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