"Sweet Lorraine. That's the way I always felt about her, and so I won't apologize for calling her that now. She understood it: in that far too brief a time when we walked and talked and laughed and drank together, sometimes in the streets and bars and restaurants of the Village, sometimes at her house, gracelessly fleeing the houses of others; and sometimes seeming, for anyone who didn't know us, to be having a knock-down-drag-out battle. We spent a lot of time arguing about history and tremendously related subjects in her Bleecker Street and, later, Waverly Place flats. And often, just when I was certain that she was about to throw me out as being altogether too rowdy a type, she would stand up, her hands on her hips (for these down-home sessions she always wore slacks), and pick up my empty glass as though she intended to throw it at me. Then she would walk into the kitchen, saying, with a haughty toss of her head, "Really, Jimmy. You ain't right, child!" With which stern put-down she would hand me another drink and launch into a brilliant analysis of just why I wasn't "right." I would often stagger down her stairs as the sun came up, usually in the middle of a paragraph and always in the middle of a laugh. That marvelous laugh. That marvelous face. I loved her, she was my sister and my comrade.Her going did not so much make me lonely as make me realize how lonely we were. We had that respect for each other which perhaps is only felt by people on the same side of the barricades, listening to the accumulating thunder of the hooves of horses and the heads of tanks."
- from “Sweet Lorraine" included in The Price of the Ticket: Collected Nonfiction (1948-1985) by James Baldwin
Do you have any literary friendships? How and where did you forge them? What nourishes them? How can we support each other in making art or in living our daily moments more creatively, with intensity, so that our lives can become works of art? Have you read any James Baldwin or Lorraine Hansberry? Oftentimes, art that we make within the crucible of oppression seems to acquire an extra luminosity, seems often more compelling. Why do you think that is?