Interesting morning. I was listening to an NPR article with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and was struck by something she said. She too had an alcoholic father and an uncertain childhood (far worse than what I went through) but she mentioned the "isolation of her father’s alcoholism" and that rang true for me. I realized that like her, I lived an isolated life because I was never sure what condition my father would be in, so I was reluctant to mix my home life with anything else I did and so I learned to live like a spaceman, in a series of airtight compartments.
I guess we all do the best we can and for my father who ,as a combat veteran of a generation that never talked about anything they felt, may have done the best he could. I always thought that his drinking never did really effect me after he was gone (for all I am very careful about drinking) but I see that was naïve.
The other similarity I noted between the Justice and me was that books were “her rocketship off the second floor apartment I lived in.” I too had a second floor apartment and books were my rocketship as well. I escaped chiefly into the worlds of Andre Norton, whose works center on isolated and disadvantaged young people who find their ways to their “places of belonging”despite the challenges thrown at them. Those books gave me hope and may be why I love them beyond their literary merit.
Anyway, deep thoughts on a Saturday morning, will write some fiction later. Time to get out in
the sunlight now. Andre Norton, wherever you are now, thanks. You are remembered well by this reader.
Author Edward McKeown is a writer and editor