The Lines Blur
The Lines Blur
I want to say that we found the cat and found out Cliodna was pregnant in the same month. I would like to be even more exact and go as far as saying that the two events occurred within a fortnight of each other. Unfortunately I can’t, at least not with complete surety. The two events did occur reasonably close to each other, but I cannot swear, hand on heart, whether it was days, weeks, months. You would think something as important as your girlfriend getting pregnant would forever imprint itself on your mind, and it has, of course, but of all the things I remember, I can only be absolutely sure of about half of them—what I mean is that they actually did occur as I remember them, and occurred within the time frame I remember.
Memory is an alarmingly fluid thing, more so than anyone would like to admit, constantly rewriting itself without our conscious knowledge, sometimes years after the fact, other times mere minutes, spinning the recall in such a way that you come off better than you actually did, a mental cleansing of one’s self. And as my memory has rewritten itself, so too have I contributed to that rewriting. As a writer I have plundered a lot of my own life, moments actually lived becoming the building block to some of the stories I write. It could be considered lazy and unimaginative, but I doubt there is a writer alive who does not do the same, whether in tiny increments, or in full blown, barely disguised autobiographies, reality reshaped into fiction. Not only am I taking that old adage “write what you know” to the extreme (what do I know more than my own life?), I am also exorcizing some deep-down demons, effectively engaging in a form of therapy that costs me nothing more than the time I devote to putting pen to paper, and for which I might get paid—gain for my pain, if you will. My life is my own and I am free to plunder it as much as I wish.
In no other storytelling of mine has this mining of memories occurred than the story of Cliodna getting pregnant and us finding the cat, but in doing so, in using fact to feed fiction, in adding and taking away certain points, dramatizing the undramatic, slicing through weeks to create days, hours, minutes, the real and fantasy have blurred in my . . .
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