Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Author's note:

As these words are put to paper (or computer screen, if you want to get picky), I'm sipping at a 12-year old aged bourbon that's chasing the newly fallen snow from my front door. I'm trying to find the next entry point from which to penetrate this ridiculously overambitious project and I feel like it's completely out of my reach. I worry that anything I write about her won't do her life and legacy the justice they deserve. I don't worry about blasphemy or offending people or anything as much as I worry about paying inadequate tribute.

I hope you know that I'm doing this for you. For all of you. There are all of these things that I can't properly express and all of these connections and consequences that these events brought to life and that still hang over my head like a goddamn fedora and I don't know quite how to resolve them.

This project has two goals.

The first is to let all of you know as much as I can possibly tell about Gloria North Pugh Perdue, my grandmother, perhaps the most decent person I have ever known or ever could know. This woman is the basis by which everyone I meet is judged. "Would Gloria like them?" If not, they're gone. I have no time for anyone for whom Gloria would have no time. I want to document the decency and love she had for everything that deserved it (which, to be fair, was pretty much everything) and I want to make clear that she wasn't perfect: she was cranky, impatient, grumpy, and she didn't like Prince. But that doesn't mean she wasn't perfect (I know that was a paradox, but I don't much care).

Secondly, like I was telling Meg, every neurosis, every piece of baggage, every disconnection between my behavior and my words, my heart and my brain, EVERYTHING can be traced directly back to these stories. So whenever I can't explain myself, whenever you wonder what my motivation or proclivity is for doing something inconsiderate or self-destructive or wounded, whenever my behavior is inexplicable, I hope that you'll be able to read these things and say "Oh, okay. I understand now." and forgive me.

Because I'm trying. And I hope you know that.

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