I was a teenager. I dreamed too about becoming an angel after I die, getting promoted up the ranks of angels, and eventually, after millennia, executing God for treason.
Most young people dream about becoming rich and admired, and most old people hardly dream anything. Your great-uncle hoping to make a good impression on the cherubim.
My third-grade teacher, Mrs. Most egregiously, she decided that there was probably one third-grader who was doing all the farting. One day, while she was hovering right next to him, my best friend Jay farted. I thought a lot about his death, and tried to figure out how I should feel about it. When I was in grad school in Tucson, my mom and I were sitting at Firecracker Bistro and talking about how I was making my way as a writer.
That despite her seeing my most pathetic parts, here was my mom, glad to be with me. Public prayers are kitsch but private ones never. Burning a flag and saluting a flag both. Maybe this is why one sees so little experimentation in flag design. A semi-transparent flag, an optical illusion flag, and a plagiarized flag walk into a bar in heaven.
Out back, three young flags are studding themselves with twinkling Christmas lights. And somewhere, an entire nation is performing the stunning humility of requesting their flag be always laid and left on the ground. Once, to impress Nicolia, I refrained from standing during the national anthem. We were in our early twenties, in Waterfront Park on a blanket in evening to listen to an orchestra. I think it did impress her, and she joined me in sitting through the song, and a guy standing up just near us said shitty things in our general direction, which made us feel close, like conspirators.
For some reason, the performance ended with fireworks. Later, we fucked behind some large rocks beside a walking path on the other bank. A truly accurate memoir would be a transcription. Today I separated my students into groups of two, and secretly instructed one of each pair to misrepresent themselves to their partner; talk in a different manner, use different body language, display a new temperament.
Even the students who are leading very different lives at school than elsewhere—kinksters, criminals, celebrities, etc. Memoir is foremost about the time spent writing it. And a person is five thousand people scrambling over each other. Spreadsheets, soil, stars, etc. Contrariwise, lucid dreams in which the dreamer is able to influence the dreamworld, to control the shades, are usually extremely pleasurable. But what if one dreams well enough that the inhabitants of that world gain souls?
To wake is to murder, as in, to pay taxes is to murder. In many cases, these edits will actually alter the people living those lives.
In both cases I was intimately involved enough in the memories that they are mine. And both of these people have written memoir. Jay and I used to talk about dying fighting brigands. I might die in a hijacked airplane, in a burning building, in a classroom, in a war, in a prison. When a public tragedy is edited to fit into words, into story, onto a page, there is a sense of the sacred attached. This is, in part, to show compassion to the victims and their loved ones, and, in part, to show the collective responsibility we have for the care of the rest of us.
But when words, stories, pages, are sacred, they are not open to revision. Even questioning the sacred is blasphemy. Even when the story is consecrated by a commercial news corporation. I was sure my life would continue to be ruined forever. He helps run If Not For Kidnap, and edits poetry for draft: The Journal of Process. Proudly powered by Weebly.