Alan talks about his time in the SEALs but I never probe for more because he knows I’m a writer and I feel like a thief casing someone’s mansion when he starts telling a story.
The story of your life is a series of well-told lies delivering a feeling of truth. No different than the lives we live. It isn’t the truth, but a sense of it we want. As readers, as travelers through this life, memory is one thing but the feeling it conveys is another.
It is the best day of my life when I get a call from the editor asking me to report on a town meeting and submit a thousand words. Even though it’s just a weekly it’s my first time published, my name in print.
We are in Michael’s boyfriend’s apartment getting into Michael’s boyfriend’s bag. Michael is gay before anyone else in Pittsburgh. He wears scarves and earrings and looks beautiful but doesn’t act like a priss. People talk behind his back but he doesn’t care because he’s not insecure, it’s just who he is.
The acts of being and pretending are one and the same through an artful delusion of self. That form of delusion is how people with big dreams make them a reality: by not letting reality get in the way.
There is a space between us and the ones we love and I want to understand why we allow that distance. Or talk about what gets in our way of crossing it.
I walked eight miles and didn’t see another soul. Another hundred and I’d cross the Oregon border. I got to the lake, cleared a ledge of snow off by a small stand of trees and pulled out my tent, moving fast to stake it out.