Monday, December 1, 2008

there is this thing i want to do

and i don't know why i want to do it. well, i have some theories.

i want to help a friend create a character in his play that is essentially modeled on someone i was once very close to. it was just a freaky coincidence, at first, how many similarities there were between the person he'd initially written and the person i knew, but the picture wasn't complete. the first draft of the play left an awful lot out, information that was pertinent to understanding both the character's essential motivation and her relationships to other people. maybe i started identifying too closely, but there was so much truth between the lines, and i could see it, i could see everything that was missing so clearly.

understand, i would never choose to write a play that dealt with a character like that, or even with the particular subject matter. they may say "write what you know", but at some point - especially with dramatic writing, perhaps - it stops being a work of art and becomes a form of self-journalism, which i would absolutely want to avoid. it's just not dramatically viable. there needs to be a sense of the bigger picture, a way to distance oneself enough from the story in order to add texture and structure to it. real life is raw, unwieldy material which does not readily bend and fold into a balanced narrative... unless someone else is telling it, someone who's just far enough removed to wrangle reality into shape.

whoa. have i written this before? i'm having the oddest deja vu moment.

anyway, back to how i don't really know why i want to do this. i'm kind of terrified of being used as source reference. for one, the real person in question has not given her consent - and, for reasons which are too complex to get into, i would rather she didn't. i am only a perspective, after all, and there is nothing there to actually identify the source of my source. writers do this all the time, anyway, consciously or not.

but more importantly, this endeavor would leave me extremely vulnerable. me - not her. our dealings with each other have been... well, dealt with. locked up and stowed away, ages ago. what hasn't, perhaps, been dealt with so effectively, is my feelings about the entire experience. it's rickety ground. i don't know why, but even the thought of remembering that year of my past makes me instantly uncomfortable.

i'm going to do it. fuck it. maybe it will all be good for something in the end. maybe that was the whole point all along.

i know exactly which drawer the notebooks i need are in, and i'm going to go get them, and all the years in between will melt away in a single second.
but only temporarily, of course.
i can do this.

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