One of the things I like about Dillon is that it welcomes failures; in fact it embraces them. Growing up in small towns, I always felt there was something bullying about this love of failure, and that there was within it a not-so-hidden class resentment, a desire to keep everyone on the same level, even if that meant everything was mediocre. I do think that sentiment exists, but I also think there is a humanity to small places, an acknowledgement that people need space in their lives to enjoy what they have, for as long as it may last—a space outside of accomplishment. A space outside of self-improvement. A space to have emotions that might not be “productive.” A space to have emotions, period.
Hanna, you ask why Matt would want to see the body in the casket. To me it seemed obvious, but I realize it’s not at all: … for most of Matt’s life, his dad has been absent. So there would be a particularly powerful need to discern that this absence was of another order.
I really wanted it to end at the hate. I have this fantasy that at my own funeral, people should only tell the truth and not make up stories about how I am the kind and charitable person that I am often not. (Anyone else share that?) I always righteously defend British newspapers, which do not observe the American habit of respecting the dead.