Log24

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dark, Dark, Dark

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Damnation Morning

From her left arm hung a black handbag that closed with a drawstring and from which protruded the tip of a silvery object about which I found myself apprehensively curious.

Her right arm was raised and bent, the elbow touching the door frame, the hand brushing back the very dark bangs from her forehead to show me the sigil, as if that had a bearing on her question.

The sigil was an eight-limbed asterisk made of fine dark lines and about as big as a silver dollar. An X superimposed on a plus sign. It looked permanent.


IMAGE- 'Eight-limbed asterisk' of Fritz Leiber (square version)

Except for the bangs she wore her hair pinned up. Her ears were flat, thin-edged, and nicely shaped, with the long lobes that in Chinese art mark the philosopher. Small square silver flats with rounded corners ornamented them.

Her face might have been painted by Toulouse-Lautrec or Degas. The skin was webbed with very fine lines; the eyes were darkly shadowed and there was a touch of green on the lids (Egyptian?—I asked myself); her mouth was wide, tolerant, but realistic. Yes, beyond all else, she seemed realistic.

Mary Karr

You’re not afraid to show yourself at your lowest ebb. In Lit, you stop breast-feeding because you’ve started drinking again. You describe yourself hiding in a closet with a bottle of whiskey, a bottle of Listerine, and a spit bowl.

It’s not a proud moment. The temptation in Lit was to either make myself seedy or show some glamour. But there wasn’t any. It was just dark, dark, dark for days. Ugly.

Were you surprised by how deeply people related to this dark stuff?

If I’m doing my job then I’m able to make the strange seem familiar. Bad memoirs try to make the strange stranger, to provide something for people to gawk at. I try to create an experience where no matter how bizarre something is, it seems normal. I don’t want readers to balk, I want them to be in the experience. My goal isn’t for people to go, “Oh, poor little Mary Karr,” but rather to have the reader go, “I can be an asshole too,” or just to have enthusiasm for the possibility for change.

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress