Thursday, November 19, 2020

There, There by Tommy Orange


[This original essay was posted on my IG on March 2, 2019. I am reposting it today to encourage anyone who is thirsty to read something to address the tensions that exist in the holiday called Thanksgiving.]

Just finished reading THERE THERE by Tommy Orange. At first I thought it was a collection of short stories. And then after about 50 pages, I realized it isn't a collection of shorts, it's one cohesive novel ... where seemingly unrelated stories and characters intersect, interrelate, inter-tangle. The older I get, the more I realize that everything is connected. I realize that a person from this interaction is related to a person from that interaction and that this word affects that word, and this treatment affects that treatment.

There is righteous rage in this book. The kind of rage I felt a few weeks ago when watching the Glib entitled face of the white teen boy (from Covington Catholic High School in Park Hills, Kentucky) donning a MAGA hat while taunting #NathanPhillips (a veteran and member of the Omaha tribe). And then watching prime time give the boy a one-on-one interview to deny his Glib. And a judicial system that allows Glib to claim and cry unfairness. Just like his hero, the grifter-in-chief.
Fuck. I mean, what the fuck.

This life is at once too much and not enough. But hey, let's just make nice and let it go ... cause turkey's in the oven, the cranberries are cooked, guests are coming, and we have so much to be thankful for. So let us pray: Dear Lord, thank you for our abundant blessings and all that you continue to bestow upon us, amen. "But there's no time and no good reason most of the time to look back. Leave them alone and memories blur into summary" (Tommy Orange, There There, page 165). 

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