Paris is very big, not as big as New York, nothing is. The show, “Fun Home,” is partly about how big your parents are, particularly your opposite-sex parent. If your same-sex parent shows you how you are, the other shows how you could be, or what about you may not be expressed.
Paris, nothing was simultaneously more foreign and more familiar. Paris was the scariest thing I ever did, until I moved to New York. Only some language, only a little money, all alone.
How big is the subway? Small enough to bomb, each of us are marooned on its cars, in these tiny worlds with no one able to get to us, stop to stop, and we know that, except on rides we are falling asleep. There was a news item recently: crime is up on the subway. The police remark, there is more crime because people are so comfortable on the subway now, they fall asleep.
Last week a man in the car with me slumped over, and another man asked if we should pull the emergency brake, and a third man said, no, it’s better to get him to the next stop, anyway. And all of us in the car, we all sat and there was plenty of space between us, looked at each other to show we were concerned for each other. The man who slumped revived and got off at the next stop.
My father actually is larger-than-life, yours may be, too.
New York is much bigger than Paris. So big, I was in Times Square, I didn’t know it had happened, and when I got home to pore over every word, I hadn’t known anything was different, anyone was distressed, anywhere, because there you are in such a funny way, cocooned in so much flash.
Why my father is huge: his opinion, his knowledge, his voice, his integrity, his edges. He is still all that, although now a regular-sized person, too, whom I talk to about the weather and where I’ve been.
In the show, the daughter wonders so much, so many things, about her father, I do not wonder much about mine, he is ready to answer, and would usually say, God. For all the things I am not, I have fiction.
In the one moment as we were applauding the actors, nothing bad had happened in Paris. Then they made announcement, “the events in Paris,” there is always this moment right before, when everything is all right, of course, it isn’t, you just think it is all right, for no real reason, you have times you think everything is all right, and times you think everything is wrong.
One person, one man, seven people, seven men, in Paris, big men, or small men.
At church they said, this is what happens. This is why we are here. That was true and right.
I had been, earlier, comforted by a quote of Martin Luther’s: “Let yourself be helped.” How big must we be, to let ourselves be helped?