The Definitive Version

I’m pretty much like this in real life too (once you get me talking). I can go on and on, recounting stories whose poignancy I feel but wouldn’t be able to defend.

Recently I’ve been self-conscious when I tell a story that I’ve written about or alluded to here. I’ll look nervously at someone who might have read it and see if I can slip it past them without them noticing.

Then when I write about something that’s come up recently in a conversation, I get the tiniest inkling that, on some low level at least, I might be betraying the person I was talking to – co-opting our conversation with a clumsy glossing-over of the facts.

When I tell a story aloud, the story is set free. It doesn’t matter if I’ve missed something, gotten something wrong, can’t find the words I’m looking for, or have misinterpreted someone else’s roll in the incident. There’s no record of my telling – I can’t be held accountable. When I type up a story and post it here, it basically becomes the definitive public record of my take on the anecdote. (Unfortunately nearly every time I look at an old story I cringe at the typos, unclear sentences, and the paragraphs that I obviously didn’t bothered to re-read before posting.)

Some small part of me worries that what I write down is truer than what I think or say.

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