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Although it's 5 am in my part of the world, I can't sleep. It's cuz I am reading Elena Ferrante's The Story of a New Name. At first I resisted moving on to this book after My Brilliant Friend. I didn't want to feel the things I felt when I read it. Instead I read two other books, very different books. But knowing I would have to return to my dissertation again, knowing that all my feelings would get buried again, and my self with it, I opened it again. By the time I got to pg. 163, I can't go on anymore. It's too painful again. I keep going back to the failed female friendships of my youth. The envy, insecurity, and malice that we displayed at times. To become a good friend, you have to be a bad friend at first. You have to fail first. Say the wrong thing, defer on the right action, be proud, hang on to your ego. Your hang-ups surge forth, shout me! me! me! obscuring the face of the other. The pain of the other. Finally, there's distance. The dust clears. You see the devastation wrought. The missing light of your friendship. The way the universe is duller, to your shame. It's the shame I can't face. The shame I must write about.


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