What I couldn't help wondering, in Michelle O'Donnell's fantastic story about gold-leafer Jerry Pagane, is how he, deaf, focused, in a gilded world of his own, read the story. Did he like it? I mean, half of New York (well, one-eighth, given the Times circulation) fell in love with him today. But the writer's perception of him, physically and emotionally, felt so fine-tuned that it was intrusive, and then his foster father enters the story with only six paragraphs left:
"There was the day Mr. Simonds came home and heard from the bathroom the whirring of the electric clippers with which he gave all his sons crew cuts. Jerry, small and wiry, emerged with his ears, created with skin from his pubic area, covered in blood.
"Have hairy ears," Mr. Simonds remembered Jerry saying. "Other kids don't have hairy ears. Want to be like other kids.""
God, how brutal to read that about yourself in the morning paper, front-paging the Metro Section, even.Posted by dbrown at January 31, 2005 07:16 PM