Michelle Tea is a literary mainstay, and this time she appears at BuzzFeed, writing about her stepfather, the peeping Tom whose abusive behavior damaged her family beyond repair. She discusses the inability for family, community members, and for herself, to come to terms with the abuse.
Here’s another similarly heavy, but beautiful and rewarding read: Cord Jefferson’s essay “On Kindness” details the shock and struggle that ensued when he learned that his unrelentingly kind mother had cancer. “I’m now attempting to find some comfort in the idea that I can keep her close to me for as long as I live by struggling to remain decent.” He adds, later:
“To lose so much and still hold onto yourself is perhaps the most complicated task human beings are asked to perform, which is why seeing it done with aplomb is as thrilling as looking at dinosaur bones or seeing a herd of elephants. It’s an honor to exist on Earth with these things.”
We are all so lucky, he concludes, to know the people who’ve loved us. It’s our duty to take that luck and turn it into gratitude, extending it into kindness — the only true way we can step from one day into the next.
And finally, because another method of survival is finding humor amid a storm: we all have those roommates — you know, the gross ones you find lurking around the shower or behind the sink. At least most of us in New York do. In “To the Cockroach in My Apartment,” Courtney Gaughan Bowman has written a note to that very roommate, nervously informing her that “If I’m taking a shower? Not a good time for you to shower, too” and “what about if we made the Internet modem a ‘no-go zone’?”
Read it, and get home and whip out the Raid.