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 two
I'm here because my parents have suffered a horrible tragedy. Anyone who needs to know knows. Mom and Dad both lost their parents at a young age and they lost my brother and me at an unfortunate later age. As far as I know, they had only a handful of friends. Acquaintances, rather. There were Tom and Ellen, my parents only friends, the mailman, the only regular visitor, and my dad's boss. He'd talked to him recreationally all of five times in the decades during his employment. I have no idea if they've seen each other since.
As tragedies go, this one is not the worst. But try to tell that to the five hundred people who live in this town. Okay, in all honestly, it may be eight hundred, but when the population is so small they know when you take a shit, it doesn't matter a whole lot.
My parents were murdered. Well, one of them was. It is the general consensus that my mother killed my father and then herself. I blame my imagination for the resentment I feel in that. Typical woman to give in to such guilt.
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.)