Facing the End—Chion talks with Dr. David Meyers about facing his inevitable death with love and grace. He faced brain cancer, and treatment extended his life for five years. Yet, when the inevitable eventually arrived, he faced it with grace and compassion. Chion writes about how Dr. Meyers chose to go out with love in his heart, gratitude, and, ironically, a lifetime supply of dark chocolate sent from people who had heard the original interview.
Meet the Psychopaths—Anyone who has been to a movie featuring a crazed weapon-wielding villain is familiar with the popular portrayal of psychopaths. However, this romanticized, fictional portrayal is inaccurate. In this column, Chion talks with two diagnosed psychopaths, and neither is likely to leap out of a cupboard with a butcher knife or chainsaw. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to accurately identify a true psychopath. Chion explains that pathology of this disorder and how these people walk among us mostly unrecognized, and she makes the distinction between psychopaths and “neurotypicals,” which is pretty much the rest of us, as far as we know. One of the adaptive techniques psychopaths have mastered is “masking.” And, no we’re not talking about the classic hockey goalie mask. It’s an adaptation these people make in order to seem more like neurotypicals—in order to keep things on an even keel. Though, of course, there are always variations. Chion doesn’t want to spoil horror movies for fans; she’s just adding a dose of reality.
Platonic Partners—They’re like besties…only more so. Chion digs into the idea of Platonic Life Partners—people who are committed to one another in ways analogous to a traditional marriage, but there’s no sex. These individuals become primary life partners, or are what were known more than a century ago as “Boston Marriages.” While some might judge these, be made uncomfortable, or simply not understand, Chion puts it in context. There are almost as many kinds of relationships as there are people, and as Chion explains, binary or rigid descriptions of love and connection no longer need apply. She notes, “the term, Gay & Lesbian wasn’t inclusive—or descriptive—enough. So now we have LGBTQIA+.” It’s a fascinating take, and it’s pure Chion—warm, open, curious, and accepting.