It's been nearly 20 years since the first time I cracked open the initial entry in Stephen King's epic Dark Tower series. Roland's adventure has, through various fits and starts and delays, held a special place in my life for as long as I've been reading for enjoyment. Sometimes years have passed without me reading a single page, most notably due to King's own absence from the project but also, as was the case with the seventh and final installment, due to my own waning interest.
But under the urging of those who I myself had recommended the series to, I was implored to pick it back up. I was told it would get better and that it had.
And tonight I finish it. I feel like a part of me is going to die off tonight and, perhaps on a subconscious level that's what I've been fearing all along.
And just as Roland now sits on a hill staring at the bookmarked object of his desire, I sit with just 40 or so pages left. Twenty years, thousands of pages, and seven books the size of bricks. I've been thrilled, I've teared up, and I've been scared and angry. I've even been bored at times and confused at others. And now it's going to end.
I can't imagine how King must have felt putting the finishing touches on this saga. As much as it's been a part of the entertainment facet of two-thirds of my life, that's but a blip on the radar compared to what writing this (and more specifically, finishing it) must have been like to for King. You can feel his own excitement... and hesitation... in the final chapters leading up to the conclusion and I can't help but wonder how he felt when it was all done. Like a man burying a close, but very ill, friend is my guess. A mixture of sadness and relief.
Tonight I will lay down in bed and put this story to rest, once and for all.