I might not post this. I don’t even know what I’m going to write yet but there is a significant chance that I won’t post it, or at least that I will delete it fairly quickly.
A few days ago, my friend told me to write a memoir. I think, and hope, she was joking. I’m never sure whether a memoir is utterly narcissistic or not? I’ve spent the past four months of my life trying to disappear into the aether so the concept of actually sharing anything with anyone other than my therapist feels strange.
Why do people write memoirs? Maybe to celebrate themselves, I suppose. Often to give insight or the “true story”. Sometimes for money, for attention, or perhaps simply out of boredom. We all feel like we have a story. We all do. Quite frankly, every human being on Earth could write a memoir – or at least have one ghost written – and have something of substance to say.
I don’t know what would go into my memoir. I don’t have much to celebrate nor do I feel the desire to give insight. I could use the money but I would, fairly literally, be selling my soul. That never seems like a good idea.
Structure seems to be the first difficulty in my theoretical memoir. I like to try and think of chapter titles or topics. I don’t remember a lot of my early childhood, except that I loved animals and dinosaurs and castles, so that’s a bit of a write off. My teenage years are a mess and I doubt anyone would find them terribly interesting. It starts to get more substance at around seventeen or eighteen but even then I’m left with the question ‘what if my mother reads this?’
There are instances that spring to mind. Estranged family and our former gatherings, an ill-fated romantic fling with a man I met in Slovakia, plenty of hospital trips. But then again, they all boil down to a few words. I can’t pad them out much.
‘You’re not my family.’ ‘If you marry a short man, you’ll have normal children.’ ‘If you hurt yourself when we’re home, they’ll have to take you.’ ‘You must be Em.’ ‘Your aunt got a divorce and shacked up with a game poultry breeder.’ ‘Let me drive you home.’ etc. etc.
Do I have a right to say these things? Maybe. I think I do with the appropriate anonymity given. However I don’t think my heart could take my being called a liar. I’m not made of stuff strong enough for that. Not yet at least.
I have nothing to gain from it all. I like to think I have nothing to prove, even. There are days when I want to scream about my life and the malformed web of people in it. Though there are days when I relish my choice to just sink away, when all I want is to be forgotten. I’m not sure.
My life hasn’t been anything much to celebrate. I can’t stand gossip anymore, either being it or hearing it. My mind can’t stand the set dressing and the staging of living online anymore. Perhaps there is closure in writing everything down. It must be cathartic.
Peace is underrated. I’d rather let the bodies stay at the bottom of the river for a while before dredging them up. One day I might have enough life to fill a book, but right now I think I’m still somewhere in the prologue.