In this mostly autobiographical account, Truman Capote recalls fondly an elderly cousin whom he lived with as a child; she was truly his friend and, like him, an imaginative and eccentric spirit.
Key to understanding the connection between Buddy and his unnamed cousin is their unity of spirit. His fondest memory of her is of one Christmas when they each made kites for the other, and once they have these kites "swim[ming] in the wind," they lie on the cold grass and watch their kites "cavort." As they do so, Buddy listens to his friend reflect upon death's approach as an act of looking through a church stained glass window. She describes it to Buddy as being
"...pretty as colored glass with the sun pouring through, such a shine you don't know it's getting dark."
It is the beauty of her imagination, her flights of fancy, and her spontaneity that endears his friend to Buddy. When "Those Who Know Best" decide that Buddy should be put in a military school, his spirit languishes there in an environment of "bugle-blowing prisons, grim reveille-ridden summers." In his efforts to escape from this rigor and stultification of imagination, the creative Buddy endlessly searches the sky.....
As if I expected to see, rather like hearts, a lost pair of kites hurrying toward heaven.
There is no doubt that Buddy's unconventional friend was a kindred spirit, a spirit whom he dearly misses. For she fed his soul and warmed his heart as she lifted them both along with their kites into the heavens, far away from the mundane, tedious, and trivial elements of life.