My wife gave me "Magical Thinking" last month. I hadn't heard of Burroughs, but I had heard of his other books, "Sellevision" and "Running with Scissors." I'm not sure how. Unfortunately, the blurbs compare him to David Sedaris and call him a "writer's writer." It is unkind to compare him to Sedaris and inaccurate to say he belongs to writers. He's gay, he's funny, and he writes well. Not as gay, funny, or skilled as Sedaris, but completely satisfying.
Most of the book is funny, but here's a serious passage that demonstrates his wisdom. After a paragraph wondering if it would be better for his husband if he died first or if he died second, he concludes:
So then I stop myself from thinking these thoughts because it's like tearing at a wound, opening it wider when it's trying to heal. Or actually, it's more liek inflicting the wound yourself with a paring knife.
What's painful and wonderful about loving somebody is loving their small things, like the way he is able to smile when he sips his wine, the way his hands fall down at his sides, fingers slightly cupped, or the way he is conducting the orchestra on the radio. Or now, the way he is lighting candles, just now this one in front of me. This is the one he lit first, actually. The one in front of me. Even though there was one on the way, he passed that one, lit it next. ...
Unconditional love, that's what this is. I love him, as is, fully. I've had to stop arm wrestling with the facts. Why me? Didn't I already have a big love onece? And lost it? So why should I get it again? I had to stop trying to look for cracks and flaws to prove that it's not as good as it seems. Because it's as good as it seems. Even when we fight, we fight inside a container of good.
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