These Things Happened
May 14, 2012 6:02 AM   Subscribe

"In the space of My Darkest Year, in no particular order, these things happened. My younger son died. My marriage ended. A rabbi and renowned jazz musician whom I’d only met once performed my son’s funeral. People applauded. I fell in love with a blond poet suffering from PTSD. It didn’t work out. My divorce was granted. The only Jewish funeral director in town admitted to me, unbidden, that her life’s passion is improv comedy. My ex-husband threatened my boyfriend’s balls via Facebook. I fled—and sold—my dream house. My older son lost his first tooth and entered kindergarten. I performed stand-up comedy. People applauded. I fell in love again. I realized I’m not afraid of anything." Michelle Mirsky's column No Fear of Flying: Kamikaze Missions in Sex, Death, and Comedy won the 2011 McSweeney's Column Contest. It's funny, aching, gutsy, and heartwrenching.
posted by sixswitch (10 comments total) 59 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is completely excellent. Her writing reminds me of Michael Chabon's prose in the best way. Thank you for the post, sixswitch.
posted by fight or flight at 6:22 AM on May 14, 2012


The first piece is incredibly moving, I'm going to wait a while before carrying on with the rest of her work. Thanks sixswitch.
posted by humph at 6:24 AM on May 14, 2012


It looks like I am going to have save this for after the whistle, or no work will get done this morning....thank you for the post
posted by lakersfan1222 at 6:27 AM on May 14, 2012


One day in the winter, after Lev died, Joss built a pillow fort around me in my bed when I couldn’t stop crying.
The whole thing is gut-wrenching and beautifully-written, but for some reason, this is the bit that got to me the most...
posted by schmod at 6:41 AM on May 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Read through all of these this morning. Absolutely fantastic, thank you for posting.
posted by telegraph at 9:40 AM on May 14, 2012


Oh my goodness. I'm sitting here, 13 weeks pregnant, just bawling my eyes out.

This is gorgeously written but I must stop reading this or I will accomplish nothing today, let alone this week.
posted by ohyouknow at 12:09 PM on May 14, 2012


Wow, really beautiful and heartbreaking...I need some sort of warning when I'm going to end up crying at my desk.
posted by thankyouforyourconsideration at 1:01 PM on May 14, 2012


Can I just say McSweeney's columns have generally been pretty amazing lately? After having kind of forogttenabout the site for a while, I've been reading The Chorus Boy Chronicles and The Long Walk and they are also illuminating.
posted by psoas at 8:29 PM on May 14, 2012


Ouch. Powerful piece of writing. The deadpan delivery somehow makes it more so.
posted by Harald74 at 9:11 AM on May 15, 2012


I just came through a really rough 4 years myself, and right when I'm starting to finally get up on my feet again, the first setback I took on came back to add one last little sucker-punch to my self confidence yesterday. (Actually, it was a different way of "losing" a child - the news that the one person I ever wanted to have children with is going to be a father sometime this year, four years after dumping me. It was long over, but this was one final underline to that chapter being forever closed.)

Reading these columns have done much to swing my attitude from "boo hoo" to "fuck THIS." Thank you.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:45 AM on May 21, 2012


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