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Jack of Hearts
Livin' just to keep goin',
Goin' just to be sane.
All the while not knowin'
It's such a shame.
I don't need to get steady
I know just how I feel
I'm telling you to be ready,
-"Tighten up" Black Keys
It's late and I've had wine while hungry and my hormones are raging. "Elie!" I shout as we drive by the famous jewelery store. "Hey," I add, "is there a chance they might change the name to 'Elle' instead?" Elle is such a nicer name, balanced, a palindrome. No one hears me but at least I'm caught in a fit of laughter.
Stories make the world go round, you know. This particular use of the imagination is so powerful, and so manipulative when you use it correctly. How much can you suspend your disbelief though? I suppose I knew "Dani" and "Elle" made "Danielle" which is a lazy choice to be considered real, but maybe some parents thought they were being clever. I think HE was trying to be clever. Or lazy. Maybe. My problem was trading my suspension of disbelief with faith. But just how cynical was I to accept that such filth could be real people? Oh, I know why, it's because I'm constantly told not to judge and to try to understand instead. Well, are you proud of me now? I've learned my lesson.
You know, the first time I mourned a fictional character was in my last year of uni. I related to the character, loved him for his flaws because they were similar to my own, and when he took his life I just broke down. My skeleton began to crumble from within. Bet you don't know what that's like, because only empaths feel that. Yes, Faulkner got me with that one. That one hurt. It's made me so much better though. It's like your soul went on a roller coaster then finding stable ground again, saw the world differently. I'm so not apologising for who I am.
Anyway, what brought this on? Oh, the drive by. It can't be helped that memories inevitably pop up. And if Shamaness is reading this, I'm reflecting, not pining. The truth is it made me think about the nature of stories for a while now. Mainly, how you can have the same story receiving completely different reactions if it's real or not. When I think it's real, I'm prepared to be surprised, suspending judgment and disbelief like I mentioned before. But when I know it's fiction, then I suddenly expect perfection, responding with more criticism and with more analysis. Maybe it's the writer part in me combined with the literature scholar. What's man-made, you can assess according to a standard. When life is the creator then you can't hold anyone to any liability. Story-wise, anyway. If you assess a real person then you're simply being judgmental. If you assess a fictional character then you're being an editor.
It's not surprising to me that my greatest passion is what can make me most vulnerable. The heart works more than the mind in that instance. I don't mind so much. At least it indicates individuality. And it's a good thing that my memories are associated with analysis rather than emotion. Why, soon it'll be JUST a memory, tucked in the library of my mind to be pulled out and returned whenever I wish. That's not so bad, is it? Not when it's one more story in the database.