Looking for (More) Parents: 3 Stories.

(1.) I can see it, my high-top Nike in the snow beyond someone’s fence, so near and yet so far. I walk home in my one sneaker, the snow the same gray mush as a hung parliament. On the corner of Bleecker and Sixth Avenue I see Susan Sarandon zooming toward me on a scooter. I have never met her, but she’s part of my father’s nonsense world. If you eat one of my dad’s French fries he snaps, “Oh! I was saving that for Susan Sarandon’s séance!” On his website, jeffreyfriedchicken.com, you can find a partial inventory of other things being saved for the big day (a copy of the Independent, a Twinkie, Ron Howard).

I look at Susan Sarandon, so gracefully balanced on her scooter and in her life. I am constatnly looking for ways to cede control of my worries to someone, anyone, and she’s in front of me, so I stop her and, without introducing myself, ask: “Susan? how the hell are we going to get through four years of George Bush?”

It’s 2000, so I don’t even know the half of it. She brakes her scooter and fixed me.

“Well, we got through the first one. We’ll get through the second.”

She had that same rhythm of calm as Dr. R.

Snow-scooter Susan sees me through until my next session.

—Emma Forrest, in Your Voice in My Head: A Memoir (2012)
(2.) Dude [a.k.a. “Dr. Hersh”] leaned over and carefully placed my [six-year-old] fingers over the smooth strings, helping me thumb through my first “song.” E/ G/ A.

It was disappointing. I had expected more impact. Nylon strings sound soft and muted, different from the shimmering clang of steel strings I thought I would hear, but I could get used to that. Something else was wrong.

I frowned. “What is it?” asked Dude.

I didn’t like how the chords sounded and I told him that. He looked hurt. “Why don’t you like them?”

“They’re boring.”

“But Bob Dylan plays those chords. And Neil Young.”

“Mm-hm.” I looked down at my hands, willing them to play better. “They’re probably nice guys.” Handing the guitar back to Dude, I stared at it, perplexed. Why doesn’t it sound as cool as it looks? I glanced at Zoë [the dog] and she looked back sadly.

Dude took the guitar, then sat, staring at me. “‘Nice guys’?”

—Kristin Hersh, in Rat Girl: A Memoir (2010)
(3.) Bradley Cooper, who recently finished a movie with [Jennifer] Lawrence, says she’s “the person you want on set with you at 4:00 in the morning when you’re losing your mind.” “She’ll say anything,” agrees Hunger Games co-star Lenny Kravitz. “Anything.” (He also says she insisted on calling him “Mr. Kravitz,” because he’s Zoë’s dad.)

from “The Hunger Games’ Jennifer Lawrence: America’s Kick-Ass Sweetheart” in Rolling Stone #1154 (April 12, 2012)


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