Thanks for the Trouble: A Response, Review, and Discussion

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Unitika Schlawenger
Member since June 19, 2014
  • 49 Posts
  • Age 20



Considering the big fat book-worm I’ve become – and despite forced diets due to other life forces – “Thanks for the Trouble” was all together a different type of story/novel I came upon recently. As is my custom, I read this in one sitting (no I never skip along), but I give the author the credit for making this one sitting one of the best, or probably the best, in a long time now.

I’m going to try to not give away too much due to the fact that some of my own respectable readers would likely welcome the trouble of reading such an un-troubling tale. I begin this response to Tommy Wallach, keeping in mind his closing, pretty much asking for a response. He points out that as readers, we also have the right to this simple thought: Did we just believe any fraction of what we’ve read?

One of the snippets of this particular book might provide you a glimpse to its plot: “Zelda, a mysterious young woman with an unusual request: treat me like a teenager”

Now, as readers, we often claim sometimes, to have found a book perfectly describing our lives. Fear not, I will not begin to rave that this is “the one” for me, but guess what? This book, particularly even the snippet above, is the statement of all our lives, isn’t it?

We are all mysterious. The human species is ever mysterious. Though biology and science have tried to explain it, there comes a chemistry and simple art of living which leaves it mysterious. A certain human can bring forth such secrets; think hard and you’ll see that we all are endless roses, protected in layers and layers of petal like mysteries. Soft yet thorny, but when revealing – just beautiful.

Youth itself if a mystery. I personally owe it to some of the oldest of our species for showing me through their own lives that age simply doesn’t matter. Life is youth, you only live through it once, and so why not make unusual requests as well?

The thing is, Zelda’s request is not unusual at all. Every-one of us wants to be treated like a teenager.

Sure, I’m just a teen (possibly in grief since I am after-all living through the last teen year being nineteen) but age aside, I’ve known many older people express that their biggest wish is to be able to live like a teen again.

And what is teenage-hood? I dare not define it. Hear it as a confession from my personal teen years: teenage-hood is simply living boldly, the rebel kind, not so punk, no not breaking any laws, but simply creating the rules of your own life.

Life doesn’t have many rules on how you do steer your sailboat you know?

Now, though this may just be a spoiler, let’s put it that the author, meets Zelda in unusual circumstances. It is somehow the force of nature that the two of them just happen to meet. But, considering we do all meet each other for a reason (just like you are reading this for one) let’s move ahead.

When death gets close, the value of time is suddenly more precious than any other ambition. Similarly for Zelda, who decides to spend the very last of her time, with a teenager, like a teenager.

Make sense now?

Like having older friends keeping up with your sassy youthful self without scolding you much for the evening, here is a little bit more of a journey. The whole novel itself is the tale of this journey.

The author points out that we may not believe it, hints that yes this all may somewhat be true, and suggests a notion I refuse to believe – not the story, just the end notion, that itself is the trigger to this “response”.

Novels, stories, even poetry have a mysterious beauty in this way too – you can never tell what the author was pointing towards, and one piece can entail a million meanings and directions.

The road not taken over here however, is the author citing that if this Zelda did come along into his personal life, just like stated all throughout, transforming his world, “I didn’t manage to transform hers.”

Maybe not enough, if I analyze the context, but nevertheless like I stated earlier, we all bump into each other for a reason, and are part of each other’s journeys for one reason or the other.

Each human and even living being has an impact on his or her surroundings.

And why would a person transform your life, without being transformed himself?

Call it the law of conservation of transformations, or just that life is give and take, but the notion I produce as a response, is quite truthfully correct.

Now, trying to speak out according to the context of this tale, and thus warning readers of this response to continue at your own risk of spoilers ahead.

I too was touched that the magnificent Zelda could not be saved. What wonders would be done if this somewhat couple, had more time, had not nature cut their journey.

The ‘ifs’, and possibilities remain endless.

Suicide, suicide pacts, just mental health terms and conditions, are unfortunately not really understood even in this advancing age. When we lose someone, particularly someone who is the reason for our beings, the first thought that might emerge is, what’s the reason for living now? Why not continue the shared journey in some other way?

This is absolutely wrong, but yes, a completely normal thought which might well might pop up.

Zelda struggles with such beliefs.

It is really sweet of the narrator, doing anything including the acceptance of living like a teenager alongside one who wasn’t, to try get Zelda to simply understand: Life is worth living.

I can never come up with a single statement providing support to what Zelda did. Suicide, just barricading all your troubles, by simply saying game over, is never the answer.

You can never fail unless you stop trying. Easier said than done, I personally know.

I’ve been in some dark shoes, we all have our dark forests in life’s maze, and do have acquaintances with people who have lost the concept of a life’s purpose after losing a larger part of themselves.

Not wanting to turn this response into a mental health statement, though it was necessary and hence above mentioned, I simply close this bundle of thoughts with the simple statement that every life is worth living. Every living thing deserves to fully go through its journey, until only and only nature itself stays stop.

So remember, no matter how lost and meaningless life might seem at a particular stage, it is not the end. There is always light at the end of the tunnel.

There was light, even after Zelda’s unfortunate passing.

The light started when the person who was too traumatized to speak even to Zelda herself, said “Hi”, unfortunately not to Zelda, but to her credit, because of her transformation.

Hellos, and Hi, are the first step to communication, in any part of the world, language or culture. It is the statement of a somewhat peace offering, of an invitation to connect, to share, to encounter.

The human race is a connected one. Unity has been recently broken with social evils in the way, but social offerings and connections are just how we live.

Even after losing the people who we used to have heart-to-heart conversations with, or even the simplest statements, we are bound to bond again.

The beauty and mystery of human nature never fails to amuse.

Zelda did get transformed by you, Parker.

You showed her happiness, and social or not, humans do get to be called in the wrong for not sharing or even spreading happiness. Instead, today, we are all witches and craftsmen trying to very much throw spells of greed, curses of loss due to jealousy. It was once upon a time in a very old generation, surprising maybe if man killed man, which is unfortunately common practice today.

Apart from precious worth of time, it is only happiness which can be added along, guaranteeing the best of times.

Simply saying, if someone does make the worst of times into the best of them, then he deserves the medal of transformations.

This journey gives us life lessons, rules, laws of nature if appreciated, guaranteeing a better world.

We all transform each other, if one of us decides to make a change, a good impact on this world, masses join him. Starting from one person appreciating rights, a mob protests until it is guaranteed.

Similarly, an evil cult surely does elope if it succeeds to grasp people by its own transformation.

Life is a book itself, our journeys can never be made alone, because on the way, we bump into too many beings.

Life is worth living together, affecting each other, sharing happiness along the way, equally battling through each other’s worst times – if only we did this, even though it seems we would be living a ride on a rainbow, I can possible bet and promise, we would be conquering success.

Know life’s worth, time’s worth, and the worth of happiness along the way, my friends.

Then come to me, if trouble still remains.

(It won’t)

A/N - Thanks For The Trouble by Tommy Wallach can be found on Amazon.

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