YOU MUST BUY STITCHES by David Small, but you may not marry it, because Stitches is MY fiance!
I will tell you a little story that will make me look a lot nicer than I actually am. Yesterday, I was on the subway totally absorbed in the book when a class of school kids got on. Normally, this would have irritated me. I love children. I just don’t love them in decuplicates. A little girl slammed herself into the available space next to me and started to look at the book.
“That a cartoon?” she asked.
“Yep. For grownups,” I told her.
“They got cartoons for grownups?”
“Yep. Do you know what a memoir is?” I asked her.
She shook her head, no.
“Do you know what an autobiography is?” She nodded, yes.
“A memoir is just a small part of an autobiography.”
“How old are you?” I asked her.
“Where are you from?”
“What’s the best thing that happened to you?”
“Mint chocolate chip Ice cream.”
“What’s the worst thing that ever happened to you?”
“My aunt died.”
“Sorry to hear about that.”
“I know you are,” she said (I thought this was particularly cute.)
“Your memoir would be your story about your aunt dying. It’s a small portion of your life that had a lot of meaning for you. An autobiography would be the story of your whole life.”
Her eyes went totally wide, “You’re reading a story about my aunt dying???”
I almost laughed, but didn’t. “No, I’m reading someone else’s memoir about something bad that happened to him. He made his with drawings and we call that a graphic memoir. Graphic is the drawing part.”
Then she leaned her head against my arm and we started to read the story together until I had to get off.
I always have sort of amazing moments with children on subways. This was one of the best. Thank you, David Small.