I started a short story yesterday, a short story that has enough “story” behind it that it could easily be a novel, but I won’t venture there. It has a boy and an older lady in it. I thought about the story and questioned myself about it a lot during our New Year’s dinner party where I had only one half of one ear on the table conversation. The question was: why do I like writing in young children and the elderly?
It’s because, in many of them, I find the genuine. They express genuine delight, exhibit uninhibited expression, and see facade for what it is–pretension.
Kids can lack the preconceptions that so destroy clarity and are very genuine in their expression. They also immediately see through the bullshit. The wizened have enough experience to recognize the fake from the real at a glance, often calling it what it is, straight out loud, and, if they’ve “gotten over themselves,” which is the only kind I write in as main characters, they’ve abandoned all facade in favor of “real.”