Getting my hair cut the other day, I asked my longtime stylist, Astrid, if she listens to podcasts, and if so, to lay a good one on me because I had a Knit to This to write. Astrid is the only person who knows my true hair color (even I do not, it’s better than way), and she takes her mission (maintaining a plausible shade of “natural” “blonde”) very seriously. It is a sacred trust. So naturally, I will listen to any podcast that Astrid recommends.
First Astrid sent me to This American Life, a trove of stories that should last us all to the end of our born days. Looking for the one she recommended, I ran into a story called Three Miles. It’s about a pen pal and exchange program between two high schools in the Bronx, one public and the other private, that are separated by three miles. I thought it would be heartwarming. It’s not. It has a wrenching twist, right at the beginning, and you never quite recover. I understand why it’s high on the list of most-listened-to TAL episodes.
I couldn’t leave Knit to This in a place of despair. Come on, Astrid, give me some strength to carry on! I looked up her second recommendation, a 12-minute episode of The Moth. She went all dewy in the eyes when she told me about it, and it did not disappoint: Darryl “DMC” McDaniels’s story, Angel.