Monday, February 16, 2009
Steve, hang in there with self-discovery. It's good for you. Keeps us from getting stale, ossified. You are one of the best commenters around. If I can entice you to read and comment I am richly rewarded and learn something about my own writing. I think I often believe people are more complex than they might in fact be. So in my imagination as I work my way into an experience I let my mind embellish the words of another. I make them into the character I want them to be. To serve whatever need is unmet in me. I overlook the signals I should be paying attention to. When a man says he's cheap, listen. I heard it twice and twice chose to ignore it. That was a mistake on my part as narrator of my own interior fiction. We all star in our own fictions. We hear what we want. We omit details that might embarrass. We lie in the name of kindness. And so we are inauthentic. We minimize our own flaws to make us feel better or to spare another. Fact or fiction? I suppose to some extent we are all living our own fictions to one degree or another. I'm just living mine more publicly than others. Lisa is a blogger who lives her life out here in the open. Freida too. She has now gone rather private so I feel a bit more like a freak of my own making with one less freakingly real blogger with a life laid open like a patient etherized upon a table to keep me company.
I base all fiction on my life experiences or close observation of others. I don't have a crack team of researchers to tell me what it's like for a female climbing her way up the corporate ladder in a Fortune 500 Co that's caught in the sleaze that brings her company down. This is a world I'll have to let other's tell. I tell my own stories, but even writing about my real life is only my fiction of my real life. I cannot be objective. So it's the view from my eyes. It's the longings of my heart and other bits that lead me to suspend my own good instincts and allow myself to miss all the clues that this man is not the right man for me and that rather than be angry with the man, I am angry with myself for missing what was so clearly there in the small comments we hear and don't absorb because we don't want to.
Crow, thank you for the comment. I do write fiction from my real life. I think all our material from our real lives is material that can't quite be called "the truth" since it is only our take on an interaction or observation. We cannot know what is in someone else's mind so we make assumptions about their motives and intentions and even if we ask them, they might tell us what they think we want to hear rather than the uncomfortable truth they really feel. So is Cal real or not? Yes, Cal is real. But my fantasy about Cal was not. Cal is not the man I imagined him to be. So my story is a fiction in that sense. But what I wrote about my feelings is real. Confusing isn't it? I'll tell you my truth, but is it an objective truth? Probably not. It is a bit fiction and bit wishful thinking and a story of my ancient past come back to haunt me.
These are my responses to some of your comments about the post I wrote yesterday. Your comments were extraordinary. I didn't include your comments because the words you write are your own and without your permission I will not publish them on my blog. But when I'm speaking to you, these are my words and can be used.
It fascinates me that when you believe I'm writing a "real" experience rather than a "fiction" you react differently. When you believed Cal's words were Cal's words you did not question whether Cal was a "real" man or a man of my imagining. As a "real" man you spoke to him. As a "character" you dismissed his words as unconvincingly male.
I have explored some of my own prejudices and my visceral reactions to superficialities of appearance. There are all kinds of silly details I left out of this "story." I gave you a woman who was unkind, but not as unkind as she would have been had she not been concerned about cruelty. She knows that her reaction to this man, Cal, is cruel enough without the revelation of her uncensored interior dialogue. I would like to know Cal's true, deep, interior dialogue, but I wonder if he is capable of it. I don't think Cal thinks very deeply about his feelings, and his reactions, and his expectations. Cal is openly guarded. Cal seems to be an uncomplicated character rather than a real man. If Cal were a real man, this would sound like cruelty. When you think Cal is a real man, you give him a pass. When you think I have invented Cal and put his fictional words in his fictional mouth, you find him inauthentic. This is food for thought.