When I was growing up skateboarding, a bunch of friends and I went to this thrift store and as we were leaving I jumped up and passed gas in my friend's face. I turned around and it wasn't my friend, it was this nice old lady who was just walking out of the store. That was probably one of the more awkward apologies I've had to make in my life.
This morning arrives a letter from my ancient silver-mining comrade, Calvin H. Higbie, a man whom I have not seen nor had communication with for forty-four years. . . . [Footnote: Roughing It is dedicated to Higbie. ]. . . I shall allow myself the privilege of copying his punctuation and his spelling, for to me they are a part of the man. He is as honest as the day is long. He is utterly simple-minded and straightforward, and his spelling and his punctuation are as simple and honest as he is himself. He makes no apology for them, and no apology is needed.
The sense that in his mother’s view, he had let down his family just by being who he was… was a failure of acceptance that he was never going to get over. He just wanted to live, honestly and out front, with no apology. Like everyone else. To love who he loved, be who he was… but society had a different standard.