July 10th, 2020

by Maggie Thrash

My only friend, a gray tabby cat named Tommi, had disappeared inside my house. How does that even happen? 


My graphic memoir "Lost Soul, Be At Peace" is set in the spring of 2002, but the parallels to 2020 are creepily apparent. It’s a story about how it feels to sink into a depression while realizing that the world around you is an unsafe, unfair and immoral place. Sound


2002 was the year I came out of the closet as a lesbian, but the catharsis I was expecting never came. It felt like yelling “I’m gay!” into a void. No one cared. My only friend, a gray tabby cat named Tommi, had disappeared inside my house. How does that even happen? How does a person lose their cat inside their own house? I was starting to feel certain the house was haunted.


My parents felt like strangers. I wasn’t a little kid anymore, and they knew virtually nothing about the person I’d become. And I knew virtually nothing about them, either. We were just random people stuck in a house together, arbitrarily tethered by our DNA.


2002 was also the year I started to wake up to the extreme, overt racism at my chi-chi Atlanta private school. What was I supposed to do when people started spouting offensive things? Speak up, or stay out of it? No one was teaching us how to be good
people, or how to stand up and do the right thing. They just wanted us to do our homework and shut up.


If this book sounds depressing to you… You are correct! But I promise there is light at the bottom of the pit of despair, both in this book and in life in general. It’s about finding friendship – even love – in unexpected places, at unexpected times. It’s about finding someone who really gets you, and vice versa. That person might end up being a family member who surprises you, or a friend who comes out of nowhere. They’re out there, I promise. Just keep your eyes open.


Maggie Thrash is the author of the critically acclaimed graphic memoirs "Honor Girl" (a Los Angeles Times Book Prize nominee) and "Lost Soul, Be At Peace". Her fictional works include the mystery novels "Strange Truth" and "Strange Lies", which were inspired by her experiences at a deeply messed-up Southern prep school. You can find Maggie on Instagram @maggiethrash and at her webcomic www.curefordesire.com. "Lost Soul, Be At Peace" is available wherever books are sold. Support local bookstores at www.bookshop.org