Lately this odd thing has been happening: people look familiar to me in many places that I go. Not everywhere and not every face. But even in places I have never been before, seeing people I know have never crossed my path, I seem to instinctively recognize certain faces from some prior place and time, yet without a clue as to where or when.
Is this because (a) my brain is going, (b) my eyesight is going, or (c) I’ve lived so long that I really have seen all these faces (or near-lookalikes) somewhere before?
I’m kind of hoping it’s (c). (a) and (b) are the types of things that make you want to stop going places. I like going places.
In social situations, I often see myself as the last planet in our solar system. Like the theoretical Planet X, I revolve around the periphery, I take longer than anyone else to get around, and, even if I’m part of their system, no one else knows for certain whether I exist.
It takes three things to make a good memoir: interesting life experiences, deep insight (see above excerpt), and the ability to narrate with eloquence and honesty. In They Only Eat Their Husbands (a reference to a certain species of spider), Cara Lopez Lee gives us all three ingredients of great memoir.
Her early life, marked by parental neglect, abuse and abandonment, was one that few individuals could come through unscathed. In a sense, the memoir had to be written, if for no other reason then for the cathartic relief of getting all that hurt from childhood out and onto a printed page. But Cara Lopez Lee writes her story with such insight, eloquence and honesty that the finished product is a work of art, as well as a brilliant statement about life and love. There is humor in her writing (note the title), there is keen imagery. And ultimately this personal narrative, by an accomplished world-traveling journalist, author and editor, gives us an overriding truth. It’s the truth we need to know about confronting emotional pain and building strength of character upon it. And then getting to the part of life that brings satisfaction and self-acceptance.