The Barbie dolls are on their backs, arms in supplication, dead bugs frozen in the position of a child’s imagination before it moves on to something else. Me and the dolls and our glassy eyes, plastic smiles, a battlefield of holiday remains, alone in the morning. Pieces of gift wrapping like undergarments, balls broken in the carpet.
I stuck my neck out for this, which means I lifted my jaw and exposed the tender part. Another sound of a broken soul which could be good, could be bad, we can’t tell.
I cried at some stupid film with my kids, a movie about dinosaurs, the lead one pinned down by a log on his back and left to die by his brother, about to be eaten by scavengers, who finds it in himself to rise all of a sudden, cast off the log and chase away the others, go on and do what he needs to do. A redemption tale of courage.
And that’s just the thing, with songs and films and books: It’s not about you when you make it, it’s about relating to people in a way that makes it feel like them, like it’s their song too.
People feel talked to when you show them the world they live in in a way that rings true because they’ve seen it, they’ve thought it, they believe it. You can’t make that up.
But you have to, and that’s the trick.