There once was this dude from New York,

to whom I gave food and a fork.

We then smoked some weed,

but ne’er did the deed.

He must’ve thought I was a dork.

If he did think that, he’s kind of right. It’s okay. He may have thought I was too fat, too. Last thing I heard he had a fling with a professional ballet dancer, right? Anyway, he’s another of those people I met up with on a whim. And I can’t remember what we were talking about (it may have been ‘online dating’), but at some point he said something along the lines of “I decided not to do that, because that’s not the story I want to tell to people.”

I stil haven’t decided if I think that’s the silliest argument I ever heard, or the best one. We humans thrive on story telling. We depend on narrative so much. We can’t even remember our dreams well due to their lack of narrative. I think blogging took off because it allows people to construct larger parts of their lives into the narrative they’d like to see themselves in. I know it’s one of the reasons why I like it, in any case :).

With regards to life, I like taking an approach I sort of stole from Lord of the Rings. Sam and Frodo talk about it on their way to Mordor when Frodo loses hope. They talk about listening to those stories of old. The ones about heroism, bravery and love. And then they talk about them maybe being in those stories. They reach this metaplane on which the characters reflect on their lives as story characters.

I wonder if people will ever say, ‘Let’s hear about Frodo and the Ring.’ And they’ll say ‘Yes, that’s one of my favorite stories. — Samwise Gamgee

It’s interesting to look at life that way. As if you’re the main protagonist, the author, but also (yay) the editor. The task of the editor is to leave the bits out that don’t make the narrative any better. To just cherry pick which things you’ll tell and which things you won’t. My inner editor has determined that it works better to view my life as a book of short stories than as an epic. If my life were an epic, no one would read it. They would all blame the author for writing a protagonist who is floundering and a little indecisive. They would moan over the endless periods in which the character is stuck. In jobs, relationships, depression, whatever.

However, if I think of life as an anthology and I present my narrative as “the best of The Smitten Immigrant” then all of a sudden it could work. I can let my brain do the sorting, just let it pick the stories that are fun, sad or educational. Maybe thats why diaries have never worked for me. They require daily upkeep, and there’s no use writing your life story of you can’t at least pretend that someone may read it. *waves into the daunting vastness of the internet*

Maybe this is an informal foreword to said anthology then, even if I started “writing”  the moment I was born. I like that.


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