“When you quarrel, you go mushroom hunting and after an hour or two, you are friends again.”
New York City train conductors are typically pretty useless in their announcements, slurring words into an inaudible mess. Sometimes they even yell!
In 1992, Susan Orlean profiled 10-year-old Colin Duffy for Esquire magazine. Her story, “The American Man, Age 10,” is the product of a great deal of trust and collaboration between reporter and subject. Orlean doesn’t waste words describing her conversations with Colin. Rather, her sentences are richly layered with the products of those conversations. “If Colin Duffy and I were to get married, we would have matching superhero notebooks,” writes Orlean. She continues:
“We would eat pizza and candy for all of our meals. We wouldn’t have sex, but we would have crushes on each other and, magically, babies would appear in our home. We would win the lottery and then buy land in Wyoming, where we would have one of every kind of cute animal.”
It is an awesome and terrible thing to look into the eyes of the mother of a recently murdered six-year-old who believes, perhaps correctly, that her child would be alive today if our laws had been sensible enough to have limited the number of rounds in a magazine.