There are things I don’t want to know about him…

I love history. And there is one subject in particular I love to study: Billy the Kid. I’ve read all books, WebPages, and magazines about him that I can find, and I especially love watching movies about him (Young Guns is my favorite western movie of all time.).

But there are two things I cannot bring myself to do: read the book written by Patrick F. Garrett (it was actually written by his friend, except for the last few chapters) or visit Fort Sumner, the location Billy was supposedly shot and buried.

I’m afraid of what might be lurking under the cover of Garrett’s book. Billy told Garrett stories of himself, and Garrett used those details against him. I don’t want to know what Garrett thought or felt. I don’t know if Garrett’s friend used Billy’s exact words, or if he twisted them to make people hate him (Billy) even more. So the book sits under a layer of dust on my bookshelf. One day I might read it, but then again, I may never have the courage to look at the pages.

And I don’t want to see Billy’s grave. Because in my mind, Billy is still very much alive. (Not physically, of course.) But I’m afraid that if I see his headstone, I will feel like a rock is crushing me. I think I might just feel like I have been lying to myself with the vain hope that Billy lived on after July 14, 1881.

Is this silly? Am I hurting or helping myself for filling in the gaps with bits of fiction from my own imagination? Should I just open that book and see what it says? Should I go to Billy’s supposed place of rest?

With my luck, you know what I’d see there? Billy. His ghost anyway. And then I’d just have to interview him! πŸ˜‰


24 thoughts on “There are things I don’t want to know about him…

  1. I understand what you mean, it’s a bit like the fact that I can’t watch Patrick Swayze movies anymore, not because I was a big fan or anything, but Dirty Dancing was so iconic and I just can’t believe he’s no longer with us. So if I don’t see it, then I don’t think about it. Make sense in an odd kind of way. I have to confess to not knowing much about Billy the Kid but if you have him on a pedastal and then your illusions are shattered, where will you go from there? I say leave the book where it is and wait until you are strong enough to not worry about what it says – lol! You’ve got me curious though – might have to do some Billy the Kid research – hubby will know. πŸ™‚

  2. Tough question. Ever think of reading some of the Amazon reviews on the book to see what people are saying? You might get an idea of the honesty and tone of the book. You could also read a bunch of aggravating reviews, so it is a dangerous path to take.

  3. In my ripe old age, I’m learning to not look too deeply when there’s a chance that someone I admire will prove to have clay feet (or worse, clay all the way up to the collarbone). The upside is that I never have to feel disillusioned about the person. The downside is I never really know then who it is that I’m admiring. Is it so awful to find out that the person you had put on a pedestal really belongs on a level with you; that is, that the person is only human? It’s a tough call, really. There are still a few people (celebrities) that I admire so much I will not entertain any more knowledge about them beyond what I need to keep the flame burning. I do that knowingly and without shame ;). That said, Charles offers some good advice for at least figuring out if the book is worth reading. Good luck!

    • Yes, I agree with you. Reading the reviews were really helpful to me. But I’m still not ready to read the actual book.
      Thank you for stopping by! Hope to stay in touch! πŸ™‚

  4. I can’t say if you’re hurting yourself not to read the book. In this are working on a book centering on Billy The Kid. You have set your ideas and your story into motion based on what you know/want to know. I try my best not to read too much when I’m working on a project. I find it clutters my imagination. And that’s what you are working with here, Briana, how you imagine this world you’ve created for your readers. I agree with Jade…you will know when you are ready to read this book.

    • Thanks Ellespeth. It is amazing to me how diffucult the thought of reading this book is. You’d think I’d just eat it up since its written about Billy. But how Garrett describes him on the front is as follows: “The noted desperado of the southwest, whose deeds of daring and blood made his name a terror in New Mexico, Arizona, & Northern Mexico.” I don’t want to think of Billy as a bad man. But reading some reviews on amazon about the book has made me curious. Maybe a little peak wouldn’t hurt. πŸ˜‰

  5. I’ll throw something new in to the conversation. Have you ever thought about reincarnation? Perhaps you are Billy coming back for some answers? Or perhaps you are his best friend coming back to right some wrong? Or perhaps you are Billy’s girlfriend and you’ve come back to set the record straight! Crazy idea, I know, but I just thought of it and I do believe that we all have a purpose in life. I’d read the book, it may give you answers, it may give you a hole load of new questions!

    • That is an interesting idea Rosie! I’ve never given much thought to reincarnation, but that’s an intriguing theory. There’s a part of me who wishes that to be true. And now that you’ve said that, I might have to read a few pages of the book and see how I feel. Maybe it is the best idea after all. Thanks a lot Rosie! πŸ™‚

  6. Nobody will change what you have in your head so whatever experience you might do it won’t change much what you feel! I understand what you feel but think about that:even if you’ll read something umpleasant about him,will you change your mind about him?No,of course!That’s because you admire and love him as he is!It’s more or less like md and pirates!I know they did aweful things but I love them all the same!

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