Amanda's View: Winning back Sylvia

By Amanda Knox
 
“You should grab…that thing…that you know for sure…and put an exclamation mark…around it…and that’s the end…of that. Put the secret…around it…and whatever was…a secret…make it…for sure.”
 
This was the response my grandmother, Sylvia, murmured to me from her hospital bed when I asked her for a piece of winning advice. If it sounds cryptic, it’s because she was recovering from chemotherapy and a stroke. Each word came slowly, painstakingly, and there were drawn-out pauses that made me worry she had lost her train of thought.
 
This was very unlike the Sylvia I knew. The Sylvia I knew was gregarious, chatty, people-oriented, especially if those people were family. She knew the names of all the beauticians at the nail salon in the local strip mall. Her neighbors were intimate friends. To me, she was like all that’s good about a Hallmark card—sweet, sentimental, sincere, reliable, communicative, though lacking subtlety. Because she lives a seven-and-a-half-hour drive away in Montana, I even associate her with the holidays.
 

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Amanda's View: Hurts to hear

By Amanda Knox
 
About a fortnight ago, some friends and I decided to watch The Maltese Falcon together. Seeing as Who Framed Roger Rabbit? has always been one of my favorites, I thought I would like it. Instead, I ended up storming out of the living room. It turned out I couldn’t stomach sitting through this moment:

Brigid: It's more than I can ever offer you if I have to bid for your loyalty.
Spade: That's good coming from you. What have you ever given me beside money? Have you ever given me any of your confidence, any of the truth? Haven't you tried to buy my loyalty with money and nothing else?
Brigid: What else is there I can buy you with?
[Spade kisses her roughly]

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Amanda's View: Moving out, moving on

By Amanda Knox
 
By my weary, vacant look, you wouldn’t guess at how thrilled I am. I’m so exhausted, I forget myself. This is because all this past week, my partner Chris and I have been organizing, gathering, and boxing our separate households to move in together. We’ve been looking forward to the big day for a while, and now that it’s come, it’s easy to feel physically and emotionally overwhelmed.
 
I didn’t really realize, for instance, how much cumbersome stuff I had—and how heavy it was—until I tried to play Tetris with it. And, stuff is emotional. Packing up my belongings feels like packing up my history. As I disassemble, I’m reminded of what kind of person I am by the kinds of things that take up my personal space. By far, I have more books and clothing than any other kind of material possession. These are the things that feel most infused with my sense of self—hence my reticence to shed myself of them. Interestingly, books and clothes are also the majority of Chris’s possessions, and we’re enjoying anticipating the challenge of shared bookshelves and closets.
 

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