After finishing “Will Grayson, Will Grayson” I was impelled to read a novel by David Levithan. Little did I know I was is in for a pleasant surprise. “Every Day” is an aberration from the usual narrative. It offers a glance at life by the same person but through different eyes. Its phantasmagoric plot lures you out of plain old reality into an enchanting story of love, courage and many secondary characters.
A wakes up in a different body in a different life every day since the day A was born despite his/her will. A doesn’t have a gender or parents. A couldn’t even dare dream of personal belongings. All A has is an email account to preserve the memories of each day in the life of a new person. “Knowledge is the only thing I take with me when I go.”
A never interferes. A adheres infallibly to schedules, chores, tendencies and attitudes. If A ever hijacked your life, you probably wouldn’t figure it out for it would have been yet another day of school, homework and responsibilities.
A has come to terms with that life: “After a while, you have to be at peace with the fact that you simply are.” Until Rhiannon, the girlfriend of a boy, A is for a day, comes along. Then everything changes for love has a subversive way of turning frowns and lives upside down.
A and Rhiannon’s impossible love story demarks the dimensions of love. It reinforces the romantic ideal that we fall for a person because of their charming character and not because of their attractive appearance. People connect at a spiritual level – through the buoyancy of pop songs; through the familiarity of books, read long ago but part of us ever since; through snatches of repartees of our favourite movies and through the enormity and eternity of the moments spent together.
A’s constant alteration of gender and weight challenges Rhiannon’s attitude but not for once does it diminish her feelings. “It’s almost heartening to think that the attachment you have can define your perception as much as any other influence.” This banishes the physical from the equation of love. It proves that love is not an inevitable act towards the preservation of our species and the rectification of our gene pool. On the contrary, love is the indefatigable willingness to prevail over the innate urge of self-protection and to sacrifice one’s own welfare for the sake of another’s happiness. It is the reluctance to let go and saying goodbye, nonetheless.
“If you stare at the center of the universe, there is a coldness there. A blankness. Ultimately, the universe doesn’t care about us. Time doesn’t care about us. That’s why we have to care about each other.”
Admittedly, I thought that the love story interfered with A’s unfortunate, yet compelling destiny. I was outraged because A yielded his/her principles and embroiled the people whose body he inhabited in this implausible slushy predicament. However, the end made up for most of the slushy paragraphs. It was so tragically beautiful, it made me weep buckets during lunch in McDonalds.
As I witnessed A’s travel across states, towns and integument, I sympathized with his/her privation of consistency, boredom and belongings. We often complain that we are stuck in a rut – routines having conquered all compulsion of diversification. However, we usually fail to comprehend that this tedious and repetitive aspect of our lives serves as anchor in a world which is perpetually flowing, twisting and moving on. We may not belong in school, among people, or in home, but we do belong among our peculiar habits and strict schedules. We tend to neglect the value of the routines and unchangeable duties we take for granted in life.
“Every Day” deals with a large scope of problems – sexuality, depression, suicidal propensities, young love and integrity. It is an outstanding novel which through its own incredibility proves that anything imponderable could be accomplished.