Monday, August 27, 2012

What Hath Ian Wrought

It's strange to sit here and realize that my life is not fiction.

My life is a tiny hot dilapidated office, and a tiny hot cluttered studio apartment, and elderly feces-smelling men rooting in the dumpsters, and new friends who are actually part of my discourse community because they want to be, and getting official student/teacher emails--except I'm the teacher now--and looking at the online course management system and being scared stiff by the assigned readings for graduate classes, and texting colleagues (colleagues!) to ask if I can use their powerpoints for my classes.

Fiction is an essential part of who I am: I read it obsessively, I critique it obtusely, I write it poorly. I watch fictional films. I play fictional video games. I even performed fiction, theatrical fiction onstage, before I got busy and old and cetera. I imagine; I create; I dream.

I know the fictional tricks. All that schlock about escapism and whatnot is only partially true. We enter (read, watch, write, play) fictional worlds because they are fresh and new and different. We escape Real Life, yes, but our enjoyment of fiction is not spurred by its non-Real Life-ness. Rather, fiction enthralls positively, because it forces us to re-evaluate how we look at our Real Life world. By changing the rules, it reinforces the rules.

But all that's a sidebar; my point is that I'm conversant with fictional construction.

And my life right now seems like a story. It seems like something I'd come up with on an especially dreary coffee-shop day, some fanciful fable to make java-slinging more livable. No, let me correct that: it is something I have dreamed about. The story I'm living is a story I wrote in my mind over and over and over as I sold scones and steamed soy milk.

Except--it's not a story any more. It's real.

I enjoy making fictions. I just never thought anything I crafted in my imagination would actually, y'know, come true.

Creation is an intimidating tool.

Long live contemplation!

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