Years ago, my sister took care of two older mentally- challenged women named Barbara and Ethel. They shared a room in a group home and yelled at each other constantly. Barbara, Ethel would say, you old whore. Quit with the red lipstick already. Who are you trying to impress, tramp? Ethel would ride Barbara about her gray hair -- Looking for roots again? Your hair is as black as your soul. Dye it one more time and it will all fall out. As high as their animosity was about having to spend a lot of their days and nights together, they chose to spend their free time together as well. When asked about this, Ethel replied, Who the fuck else would I want to talk to except that bitch? Picture this coming from the sweetest-looking elderly woman with tiny red ribbons tied in her hair. Friendship can be such an odd thing! I always think of the first line of the Carson McCullers novel, The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, about the two mutes who went everywhere in town together.
I was at the airport yesterday and on my flight, one of the stars from the reality show Little People, Big World was sitting in first class. I recognized her immediately from other documentaries on little people and from ads -- I've never seen the actual show. Once we landed, she met her little person co-star and greeted him as if she hadn't seen him for years. They walked to baggage claim as happy and comfortable as two people could be. I didn't know if they were friends, family, or lovers, but I watched them as the luggage carousel went round and round. Her bag was considerably larger than she was, but with her co-star's help, they wrestled it off the machine and went on their way into the very big world, which is, for even the largest person, hard to navigate alone.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I felt there were times it was absolutely mandatory that the world be skewed, that I could no longer bear it dead-on, that it had to be twisted." Harry Crews
Drinking short story collection suggestion: Everything That Rises Must Converge Flannery O'Connor
Benedictions and Maledictions
29 days until The Sopranos airs! There's a great picture of Tony and the gang on the cover of Cigar Afficianado. Thanks, dear friend, who sent this along to me!