You are Huck Finn
My amazing friend wrote this to me when I was sad:
As I was thinking the other day, I thought about you and the things we have talked about lately. I felt sad because I don’t want you to be sad and I never want to feel like you were born predisposed to be this world’s doormat, because you’re far too wonderful for that. Then as I was thinking about everything all at once, as we are sometimes inclined to do, and I realized that you are Huck Finn.
When I was 6 or 7 I want to say, I saw The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn starring Elijah Wood. He became my first celebrity crush and I liked him well up through Lord of the Rings. I saw every movie he was in as a kid and then every movie he was in as a teenager including the crapfest that was Black & White. A few years after his Huck Finn movie came out, Disney released Tom and Huck with Jonathon Taylor Thomas and Brad Renfro. I remember being all, “Fuck that shit. I only care about Huck. I don’t want to see that mess.” At some point I did see it, probably at a slumber party where the only other option available to me was to be the first person to fall asleep and thus open myself up to numerous, childish pranks. I still thought it was shit after watching it. It was mostly about girls and boys liking girls and girls liking boys. It wasn’t about doing what was right even though everyone else thought it was wrong. It wasn’t about true friendship between a man and a boy who weren’t supposed to be friends at all. It wasn’t really even about adventure all that much. And it also wasn’t about being free, which was all Huck wanted to be, free in every sense of the word. I also thought that Elijah Wood was way more appealing than JTT as a lead character.
Fast forward to my junior year of high school, where reading The Adventures of Huck Finn by Mark Twain was a requirement. It was one of my favorite books out of all of the ones we read, except for the ending. The ending was terrible. I wrote my analytical paper on how terrible the ending was. It felt forced, rushed, hasty, synonyms ad finitum…. Huck’s free-spirited, strong-willed identity was swallowed up by Tom’s asshole personality. He faded into the background, became a shadow of his former self and a follower. He let Tom keep Jim, Huck’s best friend, captivated, enslaved; Exactly what Huck was trying to prevent by helping Jim escape. It became the Tom show and Huck was just along for the ride.
And the reason this was so depressing was because of Tom’s lack of substance. He was all talk, selfish, and out of touch with reality to the point that it was destructive; Life was a game to him and other people were simply pawns. Huck on the other hand was a thinker and a doer; a true free-spirit. He did what he believed in even if it was not of popular opinion. However, when he joined up with Tom, all of these wonderful qualities disappeared. Rather than thinking for himself and doing what he felt was the right thing to do, he blindly followed Tom, even if it meant hurting people he cared about or hurting himself.
You are Huck Finn. You are a beautiful individual. A powerful thinker and doer who stands up for what you believe in no matter what the popular opinion may be. You will go out of your way to help your friends. However, there are also people in your life that tend to swallow you up. This is no fault of yours. People like Tom are intoxicating, powerful, intriguing. They seem so full of life when really they are feeding off of everything and everyone around them — they are live suckers not life livers. They lack substance, so they take it from others. They are the predator and we are the prey. It is extremely difficult to not fall victim to these people, especially when you are as kind and caring and free-spirited as Huck Finn was. You want to love, you want to care, and you want to help; They want to rule, dominate, be the center of attention. They swallow up those around them and we fade into the background, even though we are the superior being.
So when you start to feel like people are using you, walking all over you, emotionally manipulating you, REMEMBER, you are Huck Finn. You are the strong person with substance to spare. And then try to do what Huck couldn’t. Maintain your independence, don’t fade away but shine brighter. Assert yourself and your beliefs because THAT IS what you were born to do. You are wild and free — no one can control you and no one ever will. You are Huck Finn and I love you for it.