the hard thing about creative non-fiction for me, and in having to create narrative that should probably include more characters than just a single narrator, was how to write other characters that are not me. i cannot imagine other lives outside my own body, and worry about the violence i might (and inevitably do) commit against their stories and experiences.
so i ended up mostly writing about myself, narcissist that i am. it was a liberating experience.
however, although i got the opportunity to write myself, it didn’t automatically mean that i got to choose how others read me. which proved to be a frustrating experience. there is still plenty that i need to work on in figuring out my sense of self (through writing and otherwise), and this work will continue to be constant throughout my life, i am sure (how could i have it any other way?)
that said, i never, have never, self-identified as what was referred to me in conference, what was written in the comments of my assignment.* not to say that i would not identify nor disidentify in that regard, but it makes me feel like i have (even) less control over who i am, want to be, can be, only be.
what is the point of me unwriting when you’ve already got me written?
i feel like i’m regressing to middle school when i thought i was a rebel and shunned labels that boxed me in. but there are some labels that i proudly bandy about, boxes that make me feel warm and comforted. do they not get to be mine if they do not fit into your logic?
this is difficult. these things get slippery.
anyway. here is more writing from that class (the first autobiography exercise; please be kind) because i never feel like i write enough for this blog and this is my terrible excuse at over-compensating.
I am woman, would-be fag, born and raised in California with a too-tall torso and cuffed jeans. I have my mother’s calves. She is a feminist, though I do not know if that word translates into Vietnamese, so I do not know if she could even agree. I doubt she would, but I do.
I live in Saint Paul and walk to school because my bike’s pedal broke. Her name is Antigone and she may be suicidal, but she is mine. Walking strains my calves sometimes.
I like developing habits and trying new things when I’m not tired and sleeping when my body needs to. I have been dreaming more in my new queen-size bed. I submit to consumer indulgences. I want to settle and domesticate. My dream job is to open a gay bed and breakfast. And by gay I mean queer.
I fell in love with a girl named Rachel in eighth grade, but she told me to get a dog for companionship instead. I have allergies, so I married the internet instead. The internet introduced me to riot grrrl and zines and voyeur-able obsessions. I am more of a curator than a creator, though I believe there is creation in curating. I am an assemblage assembler assembling.
*lesbian. there. i said it.