11.07.2006

I’m Listening

The fiction voices have been talking to me, and they don’t want to be ignored. They don’t want to hear that they’re not practical, that they’re calling for a pie-in-the-sky life. They bristle with annoyance when assaulted with cliché.

I’ve decided to invite the voices to hang out, at least for a little while. They visited before and stuck around for roughly four years. We shared some good times and some doses of anguish. Our relationship proved fruitful. Eventually, they set off on their own.

They make good use of the legs I gave them, inhabiting pages atop strangers’ desks and in overstuffed file cabinets. They’ve gone through the shredder and have been recycled. While I did ask them to demand recognition when leaving home, they were fashioned in the image of their creator, and have thus been overly demure, unfortunately not receiving the attention I dreamed of for them. When I send another batch out into the world, I will be more forceful in my mandate to speak up.

But today I sense the voices will somehow find a home. Somewhere at sometime. They might even be reincarnated. They tend to do that. Morph. Evolve. Turn up in the least likely places. And when they do and we meet, it’s like encountering a long forgotten friend. Someone familiar, yet also different.

If you speak with your own fiction voices, I both pity and embrace you. Our life is not always easy. In a different incarnation, people like us could be bank tellers, content to look forward to happy hour at the end of each day accompanied by the living rather than the imagined. But let’s confess, that’s not who we are.

We dream imaginary strangers and travel foreign territories without ever standing out of our chairs. We close our eyes and see places that have never been. We seek meaning in the voices and desire to know them better. Seldom do we tell them to go away, and when we do, we eventually invite them back because friends like these are hard to come by. We write because we have to, not necessarily because we want to. But mostly, we want to.

7 comments:

acumamakiki said...

I'm grateful for you writers of fiction, my most favorite of all to read.

ecm said...

Your last two lines were perfect. I feel like there has been a fiction voice in some of your essays...especially in imagining the thoughts of inanimate objects. :)

V-Grrrl said...

I've always loved how Larry McMurtry takes characters from some novels and gives them "cameos" in others. I also like the way he revisits characters at different places in their lives and continues to tell their stories.

madness rivera said...

Amen. Beautifully written.
They never really go away, the voices. Even when you pack their bags and tell them to get the fuck out. They stay, quietly waiting. Jerks. Having/needing to write is an affliction because when we don't give the voices enough attention the writing comes out mediocre, which tortures me. Run with your voices, girl. Go on a romantic weekend getaway together if they're calling that fiercely.

fringes said...

I also loved those final lines. You summed up the truth perfectly.

jen said...

girl, i envy you. i really do. i get too stuck in the literal to allow my imagination to run free most of the time. it's lovely, your gift.

Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

Wonderful commentary and explanation of those of us caught in the world of fiction.