the unhinging sensation that she would forever be an inch away from the life she was so hungrily seeking
Being a Grup isn't, as it turns out, all about holding on to some misguided, well-marketed idea of youth - or, at least, isn't just about that. It's also about rejecting a hand-me-down version of adulthood that asks, or even necessitates, that you let go of everything you ever felt passionate about. It's about reimagining adulthood as a period defined by promise, rather than compromise.
Born with what my mum defined as an "artistic temperament," Gretchen
floated from blossom to blossom in a blissful haze. Staring dreamily up at the
sky, she tripped over logs and stepped out in front of speeding bicycles. When
the casts were placed on her arms and legs, she personalized them with Magic
Marker daisies and fluffy clouds. Physically she'd been stitched up more times
than the original flag, but mentally nothing seemed to touch her. You could tell
Gretchen anything in strict confidence, knowing that five minutes later, she
would recall nothing but the play of shadows on your face. It was like having a
foreign-exchange student living in our house. Nothing we did or said made any
sense to her, as she seemed to follow the rules and customs of some exotic,
faraway nation where the citizens drilled the ground for oil paint and picked
pastels from the branches of stunted trees. Without copying anyone else, she had invented her own curious personality, which I envied even more than her artistic ability.
- Me Talk Pretty One Day,