I read "Ruby Fruit Jungle", by Rita Mae Brown, in 1983. My dorm roommate had given me the book or perhaps I had taken it from her slim volumes of required reading. I was a declared Business Major, wanting to study American History while taking credits toward an Art degree in Painting, really a writer. The book made me want to write something slim and honest like that. She wasn't a mental misfit. She was gay. A turning point broke my heart a thousand times over with her quick assessment of her situation. When her adoptive working-class father died. The ambulance techs oggled her and she held her robe while dealing with his death. Ruefully commenting that in a cigar box held a used up life, a ring and some scraps. Then she ran off to New York. To sensible and clever to waste to much time on finding herself. Like the never ending therapy session, she wasn't sick she was gay. She had her act together. Always buying a few classic clothes and wearing them more often. I read somehwhere later that she sold the rights to that book for 5 thousand dollars; this could be my imagination or some tabloid article.
A year after the time I had read that book, I had smoked pot 9 times more or less during art school in 85 and 86 and drank perhaps around the same amount; kind of a neophyte about many things. And because of various family histories kind of over-catastrophize about it. Then didn't drink from graduation from Art school in 1986 until 2002 when I was near 40. I don't know mood disorders and personality disorders, addictions, and terrible other illnesses except by observation or personal bad experiences of which many I have had. What to do? My own middle age antics not withstanding. Rita Mae Brown gave me some creative guidance. I really appreciate her life. Her relationship with Martina which I admired for it's public nature at a time it was not common to be open about such things; although I had the feeling there were others, which is also a bit of a taboo. How brave she is. I loved her subsequent novels full of light humor and talented made up stories. The mysteries and entertainment that healed me a million ways. People who wore mustard colored pants and were happy in her books. Her mystery series that included a cat. Love Rita Mae Brown she is a great writer. I find her work so simple in her message of bravery of being gay and not troubled or if she was she never let it interfere with her wonderful writing.