Dohiyi Mir
    In Which NTodd Says His Peace

Saturday, August 02, 2003
Go to the new DM blog.

A Coin Flip

I recently ordered a book called She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders by Jennifer Finney Boylan. An excerpt:

Sometimes I played a game in the woods called Girl Planet. In it, I was an astronaut who had crashed on an uninhabited world. There was a large fallen tree I used as the crashed-and-destroyed- rocket. The thing was, though, that anybody who breathed the air on this planet turned into a girl. There was nothing you could do about it, it just happened. My clothes turned into a girls' clothes too, which should give an indication of exactly how powerful the atmosphere was. It changed your clothes! Once female, I walked through the cobblestone woods, past the abandoned houses, until I arrived at Governor Earles' mansion, which I started to try to fix up. It took years, but eventually I had a nice little place put together. By the time astronauts from Earth came to rescue me, I had grown into a mature woman, a college professor, occasionally playing piano in blues bands, kissing my children goodnight as they lay asleep in their beds. My rescuers would say, "We're looking for James Finney Boylan, the novelist. We found his rocket all smashed up back there in the woods. Do you know where he is, ma'am?"

"I'm sorry," I said. "He's gone now."

I had a creative writing class (fiction) with James Finney Boylan, the novelist, a long time ago at Colby College on a planet called Earth. He was one of my favorite college professors, and I liked hanging out and talking with him throughout my career*. I learned a lot from him, even though I might not always apply the lessons in my writing or life at large today. I bought each of his books as they came out**, and found great joy in seeing the world through his unique perspective. He's gone now.

I like Jenny, and I still have a lot to learn from her.

End transmission.


* A trip down nostalgia lane: in the 80s, we had a pre-cursor to blogging that was all text/menu driven on an old Vax/Ultrix system where we used to debate the issues of the day in threaded discussions. Jim and I also talked in real life, if you can believe that.

** I would always try to get Jim to sign my copies "To my favorite B+ student". He always refused, damn him.

PS--Listen to the Marketplace segment with Jenny and host David Brancaccio (the son of the director of my sole acting experience in college, "A Servant of Two Masters"). 

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A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.

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