Railroad tracks appear to meet at the horizon, but a closer walk disproves this. One of the challenges of writing a personal blog is that fantasy is congruent to reality. Take this phone call for instance.
“I just read your latest post.”
“Without me harassing you? Great! What did you think?”
“Hmmm . . . hmmm, was it about you?”
“No, but I draw on my experiences to weave a realistic tale, to find metaphors that resonate—”
“Cut the crap. Was it about you?”
“No . . . why?”
“Thank God. Em, now I know, I’ll read it again and let you know what I think. Bye!”
If dinner conversation turns to my blog, friends who don’t read my blog pant in anticipation of the backstory to my posts.
“I can’t answer that! I’m a very private person—”
“Who writes a very public blog; puhleeze, answer us!” someone protests.
William Faulkner said, “A writer needs three things, experience, observation, and imagination, any two of which, at times any one of which, can supply the lack of the others.” Some friends think I write about them.
“Stop,” she says using one hand to cover Sola’s mouth. Turning to me, “Swear you won’t blog about it.”
I rise and gather my stuff. Who do they think I am, a gossip columnist? Who do they think they are, The Real Housewives of Atlanta?
“Timi, it’s alright, stay—” Sola frees her mouth and speaks.
I make small shakara, “Look if you guys don’t want me here . . .”
Language is many things and writing is powerful. Writers use words to conjure images and evoke emotion. Words are magic; they make zombies run marathons and sprinters limp. Words are make-up; they hide blemishes and paint pale cheeks a rosy hue.
Words confuse too. They make the writer bigger than life; like that boy I had a crush on. He always sat in the car, looking wicked in Ray-Ban, while his friend who drove to my parent’s house, stood and made small talk. The day he came out of the car, his white crocodile-skin shoes, white jeans, and white t-shirt, did not catch my attention. Leaving his hand hanging in the air, I blurted, “I thought you’d be taller,” and decrushed him for good.
Writers select words that match their objectives. They use words to hint at meaning and sell tell a story unbound by rhythm and verse. With their words, they entice you to dance in a fire you did not light.
My about page is the fourth highest viewed page on my blog so far. I get it. If a piece of writing moves me, I read the author’s bio to confirm or refute my perception. So, you want to know? Let me tell. I’m simple, but my drama has commercials in between. I don’t articulate myself as well as I wish, but I write excellently, the sentences I wish I had spoken. If you live on the fast lane, I will never overtake you. If you sashay to the music that I play, you will find me here in the words on display.
After I draft this, a friend reads it.
“You could have called this, Things You Didn’t Know About Me, and left all the flowery stuff out.” He yawns and reaches for the remote control.
His language is different from mine. He fuels my insecurities. But without him, I would ramble past 800 words.
“Where’s the fun in that?” I argue.
He shrugs, “Writing is a lot like Photoshop.”
Sunday. Doubts nibble on my mind like ants on sugar. I stamp them out. I know I’ve won when the picture of me in your head is the same as the picture of me in my head.
©Timi Yeseibo 2014
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