It took a long time to stop stopping myself. I’ve been my worst friend, holding Fear close and letting it call the shots.
Fortunately, aging has added Wisdom to my bag o’ tricks and pushed Fear down. Not that it’s gone, but it’s sequestered, pushed down a bit under a cuddly blanket of Not So Much, No Time for That, and Let’s Do This.
It’s a big bag o’ bravery and insouciance.
Recently I encountered a heroine, a lady I’d met previously who since then has toured with her award-winning novel of such depth and thoughtfulness that I literally take breaks between chapters to recover, to ingest, to mull.
I’m a muller.
Also, her novel has broken my cardinal rule: if an animal is on the cover, I insist on flipping to the last page to check that the animal is upright and breathing. That’s right, my heart can’t handle a deceased creature within the pages of a book.
What was that Cameron movie with the dog, the one that died, like, 5 times?? Inanity! Who would want to see it? Heart-warming? Whatever. More like heart-stomping, emotional trauma my delicate eyes and swooning nature need none of. Look! Emotion has made my trembling, weak fingers end a sentence with a preposition.
I tell you, death to critters is a no-no.
And this book? This literary work my heroine regurgitated upon her ether screen and put into the world toward great acclaim and a subsequent uptick in Kleenex sales?
Cow. Cow on the front. Red hide and sweet, dewy, trusting bovine eyes.
But I persevered and read it! Most of it! (I’m on a rest; mulling.)
And last week I met her again. Bless her. She took the onslaught like a champ. I was manic, a bit crazy, and certainly star-struck.
And I accidentally stalked her three more times in two short days.
Short for me; long for her. She had no escape.
Fortunately, her generous spirit forgave my fan-swooning and all is well. Or she’s a great actor and the warrant for my retrieval is still pending.
My point in this extrapolated tale is this: Screw it! I had nothing to lose but to See Through on my semi-neurotic adulation, though well-meaning and big-hearted; it was still a lot weird, I recognized that. And I would have never let it get to the point of handcuffs or Miranda.
The Point: see–it-through, whatever you want. Whether you’re youthful or my age, just see it through. The universe loves the weird because we shake things up, whether they’re boundaries or nerves. Things need shaking occasionally.
(If anyone is still with me here, the book is called One Good Mama Bone, and the brilliant author is Bren McClain.
2017 Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction.
All the way through.)