Jane got me a reprieve from what was possibly the most boring project ever because i’m tech savvy and she’s not and clarified an exchange i don’t even remember having. Yesterday i had been talking about how i remembered Dan being a jerk to me in junior high. I remember Marcia said i was horrible (she’s one of the sweetest people i know and used to be a kindergarten[?] teacher) and that she didn’t want me giving her eulogy and i told her i thought she was wonderful and didn’t have anything bad to say about her. Anyway, Jane must have told me to stop saying stuff like that (about Dan being a jerk) because today she was explaining to me why she had said that. She said, “Once you die, you’re a saint” (and i was glad to realize that she was just explaining the common feeling, not actually saying she felt that way). Regardless of what that kid did in his life or what kind of a person he was, he was somebody’s son, and it was all mothers there. I said, “I’m an insensitive brat,” and she said, “No, you’re not insensitive, but you were making make people think you are, and I wanted to stop you from digging yourself deeper.” I told her that the whole once-you-die-you’re-a-saint thing frustrates me, and i think i ignore the social graces when they frustrate me like that. I also told her about Orson Scott Card’s Speaker for the Dead, the idea of telling someone’s life, the good and the bad, at a funeral and how the characters talk about it being painful but important and how that was in my head while i was being frustrated with the glorification of this guy. She also told me that she related what had happened to her husband and he said, “You know, he might have been really mean to that girl [me], might have really hurt her feelings.” And she told me that he was probably “cock of the roost, struttin’ around, captain of the football team,” and that he probably was mean to some people, and i thought the strutting thing was a really apt descriptor and was really appreciative of the fact that she acknowledged that he was not a perfect angelic person. It was also sweet that (A) she had been concerned that i was making myself look bad when i'm really not a bad person and (B) that she wanted to clarify a comment which must have been so subtle/common/simple/casual (probably something like "don't speak ill of the dead," now that i'm trying hard to remember this incident) that i didn't even remember it five minutes after she said it.
The Speaker had done a monstrous thing, to lay those secrets before the whole community. They should have been spoken in the confessional. Yet Peregrino had felt the power of it, the way the whole community was forced to discover them again, and then again; and each revision of the story forced them all to reconceive themselves as well, for they had been part of this story, too, had been touched by all the people a hundred, a thousand times, never understanding until now who it was they touched. It was a painful, fearful thing to go through, but in the end it had a curiously calming effect."Sometimes I hear my voice, and it's been here, silent all these years. Years go by will I still be waiting, for someone else to understand."
-Speaker for the Dead, Orson Scott Card