Did you see the interview with Diane Sawyer last night? Check out this Washington Post article for a summary or this Youtube video for 3 minutes of it. I think this counts as a cultural moment as well as a portrait of one human being at a point of no return.
Journeys. Confusion. Courage.
Jenner’s interview put me in mind of a book I recently finished – Mosquitoland, by David Arnold, a Young Adult crossover novel getting rave reviews. Mosquitoland tells the story of a 16-year-old runaway who travels from Mississippi to Ohio by Greyhound bus. She’s slipped away from her father and stepmother, who seem to be preventing her from seeing her sick and possibly dying mother. The story is often comic though sometimes for-real scary. I haven’t spent this much time in gas station bathrooms in a long time (we took lots of road trips in the conversion van when I was a kid). Mosquitoland reminded me of a few important things about growing up – and about being a good human. “[E]ven though honesty is hard,” our heroine concludes, “you really have to murder people with it if you expect to be a person of any value at all.”
That’s putting it pretty strongly, of course. I’m not generally opposed to a kind white lie, and sometimes it’s almost impossible to tell the big truths. But at the end of the day – Amen, sister.
And Bruce, I wish you the best.
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Thank you to the lovely Holly Conner for telling me I had to watch the Jenner interview.
Thank you to the lovely Grace at Parnassus for telling me I had to read Mosquitoland.