Damn you, Penelope Trunk — stop ruining my nights (with your radical honesty)

I’m not getting enough sleep. I’m staying up way too late at night these days and it’s all Penelope Trunk’s fault.

I’ve stumbled across her blog and can’t . . . stop . . . reading. I’ve started from the end going backward. Then, intrigued, I also started from the beginning going forward. I’ll meet myself somewhere in 2007 I’m guessing. 

. . . . . . .

Radical honesty is a spiritual gift. All good confessional writers have it. Charles Bukowski had it. Penelope Trunk has it. They speak so openly about their lives you can’t look away. Not only because they speak candidly, but because they form hard opinions about why they live their lives in such a way. And they don’t care if you flinch at their conclusions.

There are others who write about their lives and you yawn. It’s because of the vacuous intent. Too much is left out. There’s no edge to define this against that. 

Bukowski lived to drink and write and keep himself holed away from the populace to the best of his abilities. He wrote searingly about it.

Penelope Trunk will tell you why grad school isn’t worth it, she’ll tell you why she’s staying with someone who’s abused her, even why she thinks you shouldn’t report most sexual harrassment in the workplace. Her bold quest for (her) raw truth arouses shock and awe. 

No one would want to live the way they do, it’s too harrowing a road — I’m speaking both Bukowski and Trunk here — yet we are mesmerized by the bold transparency.

When it comes to how you present yourself to others, only a few are capable of this kind of radical honesty — the kind where nothing is off limits. I know I’m not. Which is why I admire it all the more when I come across it.

For you 

Evan Griffith
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