Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Russell Moore on "Snuggling a Manequin"

Check out THIS POST by Russell Moore on "the cosmic lostness of a fatherless life." He comments on the book A Wolf at the Table by Augusten Burroughs. It's a bit creepy but profound nevertheless. Moore writes:

Recently I came across one of the saddest passages I've ever read. Writer Augusten Burroughs writes in his new book, The Wolf at the Table: A Memoir of My Father, about growing up with his distant, neglectful father. One part, in particular, was so raw as to make me almost cringe as I read it.

Burroughs writes about how, as a seven year-old child, he realized that whenever he'd try to crawl in his father's lap, his dad would push him away. He writes that his father wouldn't even look at the boy as he stared straight ahead at the television screen. The little boy kept a scorecard on a clipboard of how many times his father refused to cuddle with him, and it was close to 100 percent of the times attempted.

Hungering for his father's presence, the boy took one of his father's shirts and a pair of pants from his parents' closet, stuffed the clothes with towels and pillows, and lathered it with his father's cologne.

At night, he would snuggle up against this father mannequin, pretending to be held and loved. He writes that one day his mother found the dummy, and simply returned the clothes to the closet, the pillows to the bed.

Burroughs concludes: "Over time, my father's scents faded from the pillows until there was nothing left of him at all."


rsimmons said...

Dude, are you trying to make me cry? If so, it worked!

Todd Pruitt said...

I had the same reaction. Pretty sad stuff.

case.jess said...


Thanks for posting so much good stuff in the recent days. Starting classes this past week has put a damper on how much I've been able to be involved in the current social/political/theological editorials I've been able to read. Thanks for keeping me briefed and injecting your insights along the way.

FWIW, I had some interaction with Dr. Moore this week and it was VERY profitable for me. He's a swell man. :)

Stay mighty in the Lord and keep up the good work on this blog!


Eldora said...

This did several things to me:
1 - made me cry too
2 - made me grateful for the blessing of a loving father; it was a DAILY routine after dinner to spend several minutes in his lap, in the warmth of his embrace, recounting the day, or 'just being safe'.
3 - made me grateful for my husband who takes the time to make time for our children.
4 - made me thank the Lord for His gracious blessings to me. I am guilty of often taking them for granted.