- She's intriguing. There is a lot tied up with this one. For one, coming from the punk tradition, I didn't expect her to be so articulate and sensitive. Yet she is all of that and more. Her prose is solid and she has an interest in a wide variety of poets, writers, and artists. She manages to drop a few names without seeming pretentious, and she factually recounts events in her life while maintaining the right amount of mystery. She never defines what the M Train means, for example (Memory? Mind?).
- She is sentimental but also oddly detached. A widow at 68 with two children, you might expect her to natter on about her children or grandchildren, if she has any. Yet she hardly mentions them. Most likely this is due to a concern with their privacy, but it makes her seem interesting and unencumbered by ordinary concerns. And while she does discuss her late husband, musician Fred Sonic Smith, it is in an endearing way with just the right amount of sentimentality.
- She talks about writers I haven't thought of for some time. What overly sensitive youth of my generation didn't read Herman Hesse or Rimbaud? And who among us would be willing to discuss such reading now with any seriousness. Yet she does that, warming my soul in the process.
- She's human. Patti always seems to be losing something, whether it's a treasured book, a coat, or a camera. She gets distracted and items get unwillingly contributed to the cosmos. I, too, have made many such contributions.
- She's lived a life that most of us only dream about. I briefly thought about going to New York and being a musician. That was probably about a millisecond before I packed up my guitar and went off to college. Yet Patti did just that, and lived to tell about it (mainly in the first book, Just Kids.)
- She likes coffee and she likes The Killing. Others will note Patti's seeming obsession with coffee. There is hardly a page where she isn't grabbing a cup somewhere. Although she could easily drink me under the table, I have the same appreciation. She also likes crime shows, especially The Killing, which was relatively short lived. Like her, I was a huge fan of Detectives Holder and Linden and went through a period of mourning after the last episode.
|Writings by Rick Mathis, PhD||