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She knew I loved the scene in Portland, and told me that if I wanted to come back I could house-sit for her while she went on her book tour and vacation. The first time I stayed at Cheryl’s was in January. ” (Monster = Cheryl’s cumbersome backpack that she carried on the Pacific Crest Trail.) She laughed and said yes.When we were in the kitchen, she motioned toward a photograph on the fridge and said, “That’s my mom and Lady, the horse I talk about in .” Unlocking the door to the house of an author who you love is incredibly moving and surreal.
I think of Cheryl now as the woman who wrote an essay for that my mother and I loved.
I think of her as someone who gave me a roof over my head in Portland and a woman who tries to meet me for chocolate cream pie when she damn well knows she can’t meet me for pie.
She looked at the screen and told me she’d read it.
I said, “No, mom you couldn’t have.” She simply couldn’t have been cool enough to have read that essay before me. Cheryl wrote back to me on Twitter saying thank you, and that she’d also enjoyed an essay of mine on popular advice columnist.) A week previous Sugar had commented on, linked to, and tweeted about my Rumpus essay.
” When Cheryl and her family returned from New York, I had one day left in Portland before I flew back to New York.
My editor and I invited her to the Bipartisan Café to meet us for pie.It’s all YOU, babe.” I met Cheryl Strayed for the first time last September, on her birthday. By this time, a friend told me that Cheryl was Sugar, and Cheryl too had asked me if I knew who her secret identity.I was ecstatic and nervous and overjoyed to be in her presence.It laid around our house, dog-eared and coffee stained.It’s quite possible it was a touch too adult for me to be reading when I was seventeen, but I relished reading it—had read nothing like it before—and I believe now that created my interest in, and schooled me in, non-fiction.She said she loved that place and their pie and that she would love to join. Mentor: someone who imparts wisdom to and shares knowledge with a less experienced colleague.I was stunned that she would try to meet me for pie on the same day that she had to give a TEDx talk and also go on Live Wire. I’ve spoken to Cheryl about problems with drugs, problems with my mother, with writing, and with finances. But if I had to choose one thing that’s really stood out to me about what I’ve learned from Cheryl, it’s how to treat others.I thought that was great and wonderful, but didn’t know who “Sugar” was.“Actually,” my mom said, “Her name is really familiar.I’ve been asked a handful of times in the last couple of weeks: “How do you know Cheryl Strayed?” Here’s the short version, spoken by Cheryl: “In some interesting way it was your mother who brought us together, through my mother. I wrote in , a magazine that describes itself as “personal, provocative, and political.” It was the only magazine my mother subscribed to regularly.