The Truth of Fiction.

One sometimes have to live with the decisions made by her younger self. You know, with mutilated limbs or a tasteless tattoo on a face. I happen to have to live without a diary I wrote when I was 18.
After I graduated from high school I didn’t get into the acting school I wanted and had to take a job. The only place that would hire me was Rainis’ Museum of History of Literature and Art in Riga. I had to type descriptions of historic objects on small index cards to be filed away in huge metal cabinets. Descriptions like: “Mirdza Kempe’s glove: 22 cm long, white silk glove. The 2×3 cm roundish spot on it’s outer side might be sperm of Eriks Adamsons. The other glove is in the collection of one Janis Berzinsh who would not give it up”.
Mirdza Kempe was a well known Latvian poet and Eriks Adamsons was a famous writer, her former husband and on and off lover. Janis Berzinsh was a nobody. I wished I was filing away index cards of my own objects sporting famous people’s sperm spots and had discreet lovers/admirors who would not part with the objects I had given to them as tokens of my affection.
I was an aspiring writer and poet myself. The brief venture into acting was a mistake, I saw that by then. But the work in the museum was a mistake, too. I was ill fit to type anything (no training, no patience, no precision) and was ill suited for 9-5 job (if I arrived to work before Noon, it was  a lucky day for Museum).
Living in a city alone made me feel a bit disconnected, although I thought that loneliness and suffering was a lifestyle of a true poet. Since during the day I was filing famous people diaries, I decided to write one myself. But unlike the ones I was filing away that were filled with exquisite, well constructed, thought out sentences, I was going to write a diary as close to truth as I could.
– I’ll describe everything what I feel or think without any literary devices. I will write nothing but the honest truth, – I decided. – Literature is a lie.
In less than a year I filled most of the pages of 5 small notebooks with my awkward handwriting. Then I was accepted Moscow State University to study Philosophy and saw no reason to continue the diary.
– It’ll be an interesting read in 10 years, – I said to myself, wrapped the 5 notebooks in a newspaper and put them away with the books my parents would never venture to read (Victor Hugo and Daniel Defoe).
I didn’t have the patience to wait for 10 years. 5 years later I pulled the diaries into the daylight anticipating a good read.
They were a huge disappointment.
Not only my handwriting was awkward. Sentences were awkward, too. My minor thoughts spelled out on paper were embarrassing. Since I had sworn off from using literary devices, there were no accounts of events, no attempts for a narrative or context, just jumbled descriptions of feelings, thoughts and random inner dialogues, mostly on my confusion about the guy who seemed convinced to be dating me while never having time to see me, and on my excursions with other guys.
But there was one important event of that year that should have been registered in the diary! I looked for the pages that bore the date of the late November night when I tried, unsuccessfully, to commit suicide.
No important thoughts the week before. No major comments weeks after, just one brief observation that my tongue felt so small it was hard to speak, and that my heart was racing. Obviously, Dimedrol was not the ticket to get out of this World.
But also it was obvious that my vow to write only truth didn’t produce much truth.
Why didn’t I write more about an event that might have killed me if I thought it out better?
I do remember that November night. To kill myself was a whim. I had felt a strange inner numbness for some time before and mistook it for an altered spiritual state. My body didn’t matter much, I had to get rid of it.
I went to a folk music concert with a group of friends, after the concert my always absent lover showed up and invited to go off with him. I declined and went home where I took what turned out an insufficient amount of Dimedrol. While waiting for death I thought briefly of my parents who’d probably not get why I was dead. I was certain it didn’t matter what they thought. I would disappear and with me everything else would disappear. A solipsism of suicide.
What was to write if I had no thoughts of feelings about it? I could have puzzled about WHY I didn’t have thoughts nor feelings but that would have been a literary device. Yet, without any literary device the diaries were boring and void. One could never get any good sense of the 18 year old who wrote them.
So, the 23 year old me took the diaries and burned them. They didn’t deserve to exist.
Now the much older me sometimes wonders how would it feel to read those diaries. I don’t have that option. Like a limb, they are cut off and disposed of.
I did learn something from reading those diaries. Fiction can contain more truth than a text aspiring to be nothing but truth.

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About rocksinmypocketsthemovie

I was born in Latvia, educated in Moscow, live in New York. I have made about 14 animated shorts so far.
This entry was posted in Depression. Personal Stories, Hazards of being an artist and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Truth of Fiction.

  1. anik says:

    great observation!

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