It was a pleasure to burn. - Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
'Cause Sadie moved like water poured
The shapes she shaped had angels floored
She knew her walk turned wind to fire
A wink from Sadie turned brains to mire" -Tim Seibles, The Ballad of Sadie LaBabe
Sunday, May 07, 2006
a love story, part three
Here I am, 36 years old and walking thorough the house I left half my life ago. Stop, don't judge me yet, I had a good reason to leave. My father kicked the shit out of my mother for the 42nd time - to my knowledge - and my mother loved him regardless. That day was no different. But that day, the day after my high school graduation, he got me. And my mother loved him regardless. I packed a bag, got in my car, left that town where everyone knew what was happening and pretended that if you went to church on Sunday, all was forgiven, and never went back. Not until today. My brother arrives tomorrow for the funeral. I'm thinking about leaving today.
I spent the afternoon and night going through the house. Family photos lined the tabletops and hallway walls, but they, too, were the same as I last saw. Pictures of Mom, Dad, and kids. My brother was always big; tall and slightly thick through the middle. I have seen him once in my years since high school, and he looked the same then as he does smiling in these pictures. I, too, was smiling in the photos. Considering it was a time of youthfulness when all you needed was mascara and some chapstick to be gorgeous.
The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss. This is one of my absolute favorite stories. Focusing on prejudice, it demonstrates the silliness of segregating people based on categories (race, religion, gender, etc). The story's strength is that it shows just how arbitrary these categories are.
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. In this classic story, a new mother suffering from what we might today call 'post-partum depression,' sinks into a still-deeper depression invisible to her husband, who believes he knows what is best for her. Alone in the yellow-wallpapered nursery of a rented house, she descends into madness.
"Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?" He asked.
"Begin at the beginning," the King said, very gravely, "and go on till you come to the end: then stop."
"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."
(both quotes from Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," available in full-text here.)