So here’s a true story.
Those are some scary words to lace together in that order; especially when they are followed by sequences of more. It’s cliche but it bears repeating, any artist, writer, creator, who puts something out into to the world is giving you a piece of themselves. Why would someone ever want to do this? Willfully casting off the armor which guards you from society’s judgement, choosing to stand exposed in front of an invisible audience. Especially someone like me. Someone who carefully constructs the image which you all perceive, I’m as fake as you think I am; and I’m realer than you could ever imagine.
Or maybe, you don’t think of me at all; maybe you have no pre-conception of who I am. I’ll tell you now, I’ve worn many suits of fiction; channeled various Gods (re: bit the style of fame). I’ve had times when people judged me before they got to know me, just as I have done to others. I’ve been totally wrong, and I’ve been totally right. “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not” — at one point an album that seemed to mean everything, not just to me but to a part of a generation. Now just a phrase that seems to have too many capitals.
So what is this piece? It lacks structure, doesn’t it. It lacks form, or research; the polish of revision or even a theme. This is nothing. In the grand scheme of things, this piece of writing means nothing to me. If it means something to you, that’s great but that’s the truth.
I posted two pieces of creative-non-fiction; pieces I’m proud of, things that do mean something to me. They involved real people, their real names, and the way I remembered them. One of them I knew would get more attention, not because its a better story, though I’d like to think so. I knew full well that the people involved would have the ability to read them. That someone would happen across them and send the link to someone else; we don’t outgrow gossip. I can see how many times its been read, and shared; and its a staggering amount. I should be afraid, or question whether it was a good idea to share that much of myself with you; but I’m not.
This isn’t false bravado, or any attempt to try and sway any opinion you have of the piece or of me; in fact this is the opposite. I’m telling you it’s quite alright. You don’t have to comment, you are free to judge me, you can speak amongst yourselves, or with me. Trust me, I wouldn’t put out anything with that much personal signficance out there on a whim.
I can’t speak for other writers; but all I hoped for was that it would resonate with someone, whether they knew the people involved or not; in some way. I know for at least one of you it did, someone who will remain nameless but who’s message to me took courage on his part. I only bring this up to answer the earlier quesiton about why one would do this, besides being a little bit narcisstic and a little bit into attention (in case you didn’t know.) It’s the chance to connect the dots between memories and emotions which float around in my brain into something coherent enough that it can be typed up, read and transferred to your’s.
Whatever, you think about what I’ve written isn’t as importanat to me, as the little bit of magic occurs in the meeting of our two imaginations. Whether, just for a second, or if it was on your mind for longer; that’s a communication between me and you, which is something that is worth more than the sum of its parts. At least it is to me.
For getting to the end, here’s the truth; everything, and everyone matters to me. No one is just a character in a story, you can’t distill who they are truly, no matter how well you know them, or how great a writer you are. Whatever you think of them, however you’ve perceived them, they are infinitely so much more.