Last December, a website called The Morning News asked me to describe the most important and unimportant events of my year. So I sent them a story that felt like both to me, something slight but at the same time deeply rich. Now that it's Thanksgiving, I'm going to post it here because it's about two girls who want the best for everybody — and that can get complicated.
I'm walking past a school. Two girls, maybe 6 years old, wearing parkas, carrying book bags, come flying out the school door, stepping in front of me close enough for me to hear. And one of them leans toward the other and says, "What if you're a serial killer? Who's going to be your friend then?"
I turn. The two girls are weighing this question. Having friends — this is a thing they know. Everybody needs one, even the nastiest among us, but this is a toughie. They stop to mull: Who might like a serial killer?
"Maybe," says the second girl, "other serial killers?"
They look at each other, uncertain. (Not a big enough pool? Is that what they're thinking?)
Then the first girl says, "I know!"
"What?" asks the second.
"How about just ... killers?"
More to choose from! They hug. Problem solved. They walk up the block holding hands. Friends are the solution to everything. This is their news. This is what they know.