the heart of a fourteen-year-old girl

Hello, readers.

One afternoon at City Grocery in Oxford, before my father died, and after one or another trip home to spell my sister from taking care of him in his less than self-sufficient state, I mentioned to Barry Hannah how spending time with my dad, and listening to his collection of Abba and Enya and love for Sarah McLachlan, that it was more and more apparent to me that he possessed the heart of a fourteen-year-old girl.

To which Barry Hannah, a gloriously and infamously unpredictable man, known as much for shooting a hole in his car’s floorboard to drain floodwater as for writing the sort of stories where people killed each other with uprooted tombstones, said to me, “And what’s wrong with having the heart of a fourteen-year-old girl?

And I said, “Nothing’s wrong it.”

And he said, “Sometimes I think that’s what I got.”

And I said, “Me, too.”

If at all possible one should choose one’s role models so that a fair share of them are men possessed of the heart of a fourteen-year-old girl.


Regrettable things our white relatives have said to us.

You’re not like other Asians. You know, the real Asians.

Were you closing your eyes in that photo? I can never tell with you.

Of course I was surprised when your parents adopted a Korean, but I wasn’t unhappy about it.

Happy monday, readers.