(I'm not a musician.) I was taught as a child that I must not 'blow my own trumpet' as in talking about myself – especially not to say anything good about myself. I was also taught that much of what I could say about myself was nonsense and I needn't expect anyone to believe it. If I myself believed it, I must be insane. If not, I was obviously a liar. Telling my story, therefore, became a very confronting task. I am now in my late seventies, as I begin this blog, and it is only a preparation – things I write on the way to writing the memoir. Nevertheless, everything posted here is copyright and must not be reproduced without written permission from the author (usually me).

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Fallible Memory

... and the difficulty of writing about real live people.

In my files I found old emails and MySpace messages between Lorenzo and me, but no records of the many msn chats, nor our public comments on each other's MySpace posts. Also missing were those posts themselves, which had a lot to do with our falling in love with each other. It wasn't only the private exchanges, though they certainly cemented it, but also what we wrote to share with the world.

Even so, some of the emails were long. Once I started going through them, I had a lot of reading – before, during and after blogging our love story here. Though I reported our initial messages verbatim, some other things turned out to be worded a little differently than I'd remembered, e.g. he spoke of older people who might know things rather than 'having a clue'. (But maybe the wording I thought I recalled was somewhere in the missing messages.)

One thing which was much more complex than my recollection of it was the Reiki episode (teaching him long-distance). So I took that out of the blog story altogether. I realised that in any case it wasn't an essential part of that account. 

I at first wrote that we were 'frequently impolite.' I changed it to 'sometimes'. Though it's true there were some hilarious insults and no forbidden words or topics, re-reading the emails I realised that we were in fact very courteous with each other, and careful to address that thing of online communications being easy to misunderstand. 

I didn't want to quote too much of our private conversations; that would feel like a betrayal, a violation. So I feel I am left with an account which tells rather than shows. But so it must be. Writing about real, living people is very tricky as to how much to disclose, particularly when you haven't asked permission. 'Lorenzo' is a pseudonym of course, but it was one he used a lot at that time, known to his friends though not to the world at large.

It's fascinating to me that people seem enchanted by my story, even though it breaks the famous 'show, don't tell' rule. 

I had thought of interspersing the account with poetry. But, after all, I can't share all the poems I wrote to / for / about him at that time. Some of them use his name, and to alter it would muck up things like rhythm and cadence.  (There is also the fact that most of them weren't very good poems!)

And then, without the whole context of our communications, some of the poems would sound over-the-top in their protestations of affection. Although it was platonic, it was also romantic. I have a horror of appearing like a silly old fool. 

When all's said and done, no matter how truthful everyone may think they are being, no-one can really know what goes on between two people, except those two people.

(That last is almost a quote from Downton Abbey. Back in those days, he and I would both have fallen about laughing at the idea of taking anything from such a show seriously. Nowadays I enjoy watching it, and not for satirical reasons.)

1 comment:

  1. Hurrah!!!!!.... WONDERFUL MESMERIZING ... I want more and more and more....sharing wherever I can... this will find its guides to all four corners and beyond this spinning blue marble...

    ReplyDelete