Dear friend, I am writing to you because she said you listen

“I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand and didn’t try to sleep with that person at the party even though you could have. Please don’t try to figure out who she is because then you might figure out who I am, and I really don’t want you to do that.” – The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky.

Today at the Ontario Teen Book Fest one of the topics touched upon by Stephen Chbosky during his panel was who is the Friend that Charlie is writing to.  We didn’t get a definitive answer.  Chbosky reasoned that he finds that sometimes when he hears lyrics and then finds out what the lyrics actually are, the reality usually isn’t as great as the perceived words.

Except for Hotel California by the Eagles.

He used this reasoning to avoid explicitly stating whom Charlie is writing to.  He suggested that there are several theories and some of them are better then what he had intended so instead of definitively stating, if he just leaves it open then maybe we can pretend that one of the better hypothesis can be our reality.  For example, he liked the idea that Charlie was writing to himself.  (And since that was suggested by someone we can assume that’s not what Chbosky originally intended.)

Anyhow my hypothesis and it’s fairly obvious … is that Charlie is writing to Stephen Chbosky.  But it’s been a while since I’ve read the book so have no idea how appropriate that is.  And in a way I think I like it better not knowing.