Angie Adelin (1979-2016)

75594_1720934958123053_8994965097951766679_nWe’re all here today because of mistakes we didn’t pay for. We’ve all dodged a thousand bullets to get to where we are today. And if we’re around next year, it’ll be because we dodged dozens more. Much as I’d like to, I just can’t bring myself to believe that life (or “the Universe”) is nearly as fair as the Law of Karma suggests. All to the contrary, I think the world we live in is a profoundly unfair place. The great English Reformer John Bradford saw this with unusual clarity. That’s why he mouthed these words to himself so often: “There but for the grace of God go I.”

Angie was the kind of person you’d wanna be friends with in prison: incredibly tough, incredibly funny, and incredibly charismatic. My two favorite Orange Is the New Black characters remind me of her. Angie was a really good friend to my sister when my sister needed a really good friend. I’ll always be thankful to her for that. And I’ll never forget all those wacky working-class wives tales she’d recount, with deadly seriousness, at my mother’s kitchen table. She once told me that if you scared a pregnant woman her baby would be born with a tail. Oh Angie: you were such a great storyteller! Sorry your story had to end so soon.

—John Faithful Hamer, From Here (2016)

About John Faithful Hamer

John Faithful Hamer is a college professor who still can't swim, drive, or pay his bills on time. His sense of direction is notoriously unreliable, yet he'd love to tell you where to go. His lack of practical skills is astounding, and his inability to fix things is renowned, yet he'd love to tell you what to do. His mismanagement of time is legendary, as is his inability to remember appointments, yet he fancies himself a philosopher and would love to tell you how to live. He wouldn't survive in a state of nature, of that we can be sure; but he's doing quite well in the big city, which has always been a refuge for the ridiculous, a haven for the helpless, and a friend to the frivolous.

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