Good day to all.
As you may know, I have made a pretty bold change to my story and went from “Biography-through-Fiction” to pure and simple “Biography”. Pure? Yes. Simple? Not so fast!
It is said that the first few lines of a book are incredibly important, so finding away to launch into the story itself was not easy. I feel the need to explain to the reader why I’m writing the story in the first place. I think I’ve found a safe and comfortable way of doing it.
So here are the first few lines of the new Citizen of Ville Joie. An orphan’s story.
“Is it always there?” my aunt asked.
Maybe it was because her question came at the end of a long dinner during which we had wined almost as much we had dined but it caught me off guard and I had to stop and think about it. Never before had I hesitated to answer a question about my past. Not even when the question came from me.
It will never cease to amaze me how snippets of a four-year period in a child’s life has the power to subdue an entre dinner table into focusing on one speaker as I recount them. The silence usually lasts until I add the emotions of the time into the mix. That’s when the questions from the audience come as naturally as my answers do, in a rhythm I have perfected over time.
When I revisit the events of my childhood, their images play out in my head like an excerpt of a movie, flickering right behind my eyes, where the mind is. There’s also a soundtrack by Cat Stevens. Yes, Cat Stevens. It makes perfect sense to me. The transitions between the scenes are made of white words fading in and out on a black background: Fear, Joy, Pain, Comfort, Quandary and appearing last, on the other side of an equal sign as the sum of it all, Emotions. That’s the word that best describes this period of my life. God, it has to be.
Emotions are a silent conversation we have with the world around us; the stronger we agree or disagree with whatever it is it’s trying to tell us, the greater the intensity of our emotions. And for each one of these, there is a memory as vivid as the emotion is intense. That’s why the memory of our first kiss remains with us for so long.
In my case, emotions are why I can remember my younger years so well and with so many details. They are why the answers come to me so easily when I’m quizzed about them. Don’t get me wrong; my first kiss was quite memorable too.
These images of my childhood appear out of the blue and can occupy my mind for some time, whether I seek their company or not. They can be triggered by a scene as innocent as one of departure played by actors on television or witnessed by shear coincidence in real life. A single word, overheard in a distant conversation or even a subtle fragrance is often all it takes for my mind to launch tape. Everyday moments, as routine as they should be, are constant opportunities to remind me that for a while, during my youth, my life wasn’t mine to own.
That’s how my story begins now…tell me what you think….