so in the past people have pointed out that the reason sophie’s age curse lasts so long in this books (despite numerous people particularly howl, who’s meant to be a ridiculously powerful wizard, trying to break it for her) is because she strengthens the curse herself with her own magically powered self-loathing which she isn’t even aware of and her magic just happens to be stronger than Howl’s so even when he tries to break it all that happens is they both come over in a cold sweat and nearly pass out
and i love that because magic-wise what’s happening is essentially:
howl: let me break ur curse sophie: no!!! i’m old and boring!!! howl: sophie pls sophie: fuck off!!!
made even more beautiful by the fact that howl is tryin real hard and sophie doesn’t even realise she’s doing it
jake and amy’s relationship is one of the best heterosexual relationships i’ve come across in a while because:
it’s an interracial relationship between an ashkenazi jewish man and a latina (specifically cuban) woman
it’s genuinely loving, healthy, and dorky
they support each other and they make each other better. their relationship adds to their happiness instead of taking away from it
they always communicate and resolve conflicts maturely
they retain their independence, personalities, goals, and ambitions while still sharing each other’s hobbies and ideas and enjoying each other’s favorite activities
they don’t let their relationship get in the way of their career, goals, or obligations
they have their own lives outside of their relationship and we actually get to see them navigate the lines between a professional and romantic relationship
unlike most het ships, amy’s autonomy and personality aren’t reduced to jake. she isn’t jake’s love interest - she’s a main character of her own and her relationship with jake is just one part of her storyline and character
unlike most het ships, jake doesn’t bemoan being in a committed relationship. he loves amy wholeheartedly and is willing to do anything for her, and his friends actually support him instead of mocking him for that
they were friends before anything else. which means that they actually have fun. there’s nothing toxic or unhealthy about their relationship because it isn’t mired in heteronormative, misogynistic stereotypes. that is, they have a realistic and authentic dynamic because it isn’t all about ~ooh passion and melancholy and angst~. they’re cute and fluffy and it’s always presented as a good thing
There are wars happening in other worlds, but they are other people’s wars. This is your war: your war is a search. Your war is chasing and being chased. Your war is unblemished fingers and smoothed-away scars, the same blooming of a bruise over your best friend’s eye. You are never dead. You are always young.
Your war leaves no room for casualties.
Here is what you have learned: everywhere in the multiverse is exactly the same. Here are the cities, here are the towns and the people who live in the towns, or the people-analogues who live in the town-analogues, the point of the metaphor being that everything exists in relation to everything else. Infinite verisimilitude. Here are the worlds that resemble the world that you were born on, the one that some of you don’t remember.
“I was twenty when we left,” your other best friend says to you. “I’m still twenty, I guess. It was a long time ago.”
She had only just finished school, she says to you. She had gone out to dinner with her friends to celebrate, and the next day she had pulled on her red jacket and then there was the press conference and boarding the ship. She talks about it like it happened in another life. It did happen in another life, not this life where she does not age (she should be old, she says to you) and you do not age and the two of you watch old movies on the couch in the living room and your brother walks in and lies across the two of you and you push him off the couch and your best friend laughs.
The world narrows to a ship, a set of rooms not meant for long-term cohabitation, four bedrooms that you swap between the seven of you. You and your brother, you and your other best friend, you and your boyfriend. The world narrows to the way your best friend laughs, your captain’s voice over the intercom, quiet conversations with your boyfriend in the dead of the night. Night-analogue. Time is a concept for other people.
You have: 365 days, 24 hours, 60 minutes — ship’s time. The years pass differently on different planets. Orbits are different. Mathematics is different. The slicing of time changes with every new world. You celebrate alien holidays. You wear alien clothing. You are the aliens.
Your brother stopped learning math thirty-something years ago. You’ve stopped learning how to read, mostly. Your brother and you race through worlds like playgrounds. It’s hard to see the worlds as anything but temporary constructs. Here are the only real things in existence: the Starblaster, the Hunger, the seven of you sitting at dinner that your brother has cooked, talking about what you are going to do next. The long stretches of time between world and world, like a breath held in the lungs, just waiting to land and search and run. Your days not filled with desperation.
There are the good times: Shooting ranges and fireworks and water gun fights. Sunrises across orange skies, passing a wine bottle from hand to mouth to hand on the bank of a foreign river, board game nights and watching old tv recordings from planets that no longer exist. The comfort of company, here are seven hearts that have learned to beat like one.
The best times: sixty years and you look at the man standing next to you and realize that maybe a perfect love does exist. You are not sorry that you made him wait. He says he regrets not asking sooner. You say no, no this was right. It was the only way this could have gone, sixty years to wear the edges off your sharpness, sixty years to build him solid and secure. No other world where you meet as equals.
In another world your boyfriend is old and you are in the prime of your youth and the two of you never intersected.
All planets look the same when being assimilated into the black. You do not dream about it. You sleep and you wake and you dream about the kaleidoscopic everywhere that no longer exists for you, face pointed forward, no turning back.
Everything in the world is always the same. The ship, the crew. The world is never the same, planet and planet and planet like a row of dominos knocked down one after another.
If you stop running everything dies. If you keep running you will eventually stop. You are fighting a war against an enemy that does not die. You are always dying.
You drape yourself over your boyfriend’s shoulders. He puts his hand over your hand and laces your fingers together.
one of my best friends is a bisexual woman who used to identify as a lesbian, and when she realized that she’s actually bisexual she was really scared about telling people because she feared backlash and rejection. but for her, the bisexual label is really important and she took the most amount of comfort in it. she initially identified as a lesbian because she couldn’t conceive of being attracted to men and women simultaneously, and she needed a way to articulate that she likes women. similarly, lesbians who have once identified as bisexual probably needed a way to state that they like women but didn’t know that it was possible for them to like women and /only/ women. we have to ensure that questioning wlw who are moving between labels and figuring out who they actually are for the first time feel safe and comfortable in doing so.