Saturday, July 17, 2010
lie # 1
I haven't ever been lonely. The reason is that I have four angels who follow me wherever I go. They are rather large and clumsy but I forgive them because they are good company. You would think they would be light on their feet what with the wings, but in fact their wings are quite cumbersome.
I have wings too. I think they think I am one of them. But I am no angel. I have dark brown hair for one thing and who has ever heard of an angel with dark brown hair? I have big dark eyes too. Angels do not have big dark eyes.
I was very surprised when the angels taught me to play cards. Chess they like also, but I have never actually seen them play.
These angels have been with me for a very long time now but they still look just the same--big white feet like a Clydesdale's appear now and then. You've seen them haven't you?
I thought maybe you had.
That day on the highway I wasn't really alone there in the car. And when Judy came they acted like they knew her. Maybe she is really one of them, I can't be sure--how else, really, could a woman show up to help me in the loneliest, scariest moment of my life and have my own mother's name? There on that far highway in the woods?
I think the angels must have brought her to me. I hope someone thanked her. In all the confusion I may have forgotten. I never have seen her again, although Mama--my real mama--seems to think she is a hairdresser who has a salon there near the fire station. And once, when I went to church with Grandma, I thought I saw her singing in the choir. But I didn't dare say anything. What could I have said? Really?
This post comes from an exercise out of WRITING FICTION; A Guide to Narrative Craft by Janet Burroway. (p334) This is a great one for memoirists. Try it yourself and let me know what you get: Write down a false statement about yourself, such as "I have a pet snake." Keep going, elaborating on the false statement, allowing the "I" character to develop. You are beginning to create a narrator who is not like you, which will give you more imaginative freedom than you might feel when writing about yourself as the "I" narrator.