What is true? What is real? What is authentic? What if I told that the story about the little girl having a meltdown at the bus stop was a fiction, if I made it up, or if I only witnessed the mother grimly walking off the bus and fabricated the rest? Would you feel I was a bad person? A good writer? Would it make any difference? Does a writer have a solemn pact with a reader to tell the truth or is she a master manipulator? Are things more real because they happened? Why does fiction sometimes feel like it holds deeper truths? Poetry even more so? THe more people responded to the story the more disgusted I felt with myself for writing it even though I wrote it as close to my memory of it as possible, down to the Hello Kitty backpack. And I’ve thought of that little girl and that mother many times, entering the short story of that moment in their lives as I did, by chance.
I’ve staked my whole fucking life on writing and I still can’t tell if it’s me or memorex. Can you?
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