Creative Conversation

Incidentally, it's tricky being on both sides of a conversation at the same time.

Incidentally, it’s tricky being on both sides of a conversation at the same time.

A few days ago I wrote a post about having a conversation with one of the characters that I was writing. I figured I might as well post the actual conversation as well:

The redhead leaned back in her seat and considered me for a minute without saying anything. She wore all black, neither old nor young. I wondered how she could possibly know the first thing about me.

“I know everything about you.” She said.

“Did you read my mind?”

She shook her head. “I just know.” She said. “It’s in my mind too.”

“Who are you?”

“I created you.” She said.

“No you didn’t.”

“Yeah, I did. If it weren’t for me you wouldn’t exist.”

“I don’t need-”

“Don’t need me in order to exist?” She finished the thought. “You’re thinking about your mother giving birth to you and the whole world around you that you’ve never seen me in.”

I had been, but I wasn’t about to admit it.

“Trust me, it feels strange to me too.” She said. “I created your whole world- it’s based on my world- but I don’t exist in your world and you don’t exist in mine.” She seemed to consider the implications of this for a second.

“Am I dreaming?”

“I’m not sure. Maybe. You’re outside your narrative at the moment. When you go back in you won’t remember this. Maybe you’ll have been sleeping or drunk… I’m not actually sure where I pulled you from.”

“So you don’t know everything.” I felt a surge of relief and tried to not let it show. The idea of a stranger being able to go through my every thought- my every memory, knowing my lowest, most shameful, painful moments was… I didn’t have a word for it. Then I wondered if I didn’t have a word for it because she didn’t have a word for it.

“I do and I don’t.” She admitted. “You don’t let me see everything- I have to discover you bit by bit. It’s fascinating and unexpected.”

I felt myself prickle: “Glad I can be a fucking dancing monkey for your entertainment.” I snapped. She gave me a look- not insulted, just implying that I was overreacting. “What makes me so special anyway?” I wanted to know.

“I’m not sure.” She said. “You’re me in a lot of ways- and you’re everything I’m not: Self and Stranger.”

She used the same fragmented sentences of my thoughts- small pieces unevenly strung together.

“You’re more beautiful than I ever imagined.”

I looked down at myself.  “You got a funny idea of beautiful.”

“Powerful too. Sometimes I think you created yourself; screamed in my ear until I had to listen.”

“Glad someone is.” I tried to not sound as bitter as I felt. “Good to know I have the ear of the creator. Now can you make me a success yet?”

“A success?” She smiled. “I don’t get much say in that- you’re the reality-bender.”

“You created me and my world and know everything about me and everything in it and you can’t just… make me a big star or something?”

She thought about it for a minute as if actually considering it. “I could.” She said in a way that said ‘I won’t’. “But it wouldn’t do you any good- you wouldn’t be you.”

“What the hell does that mean?”

“You are what you are.” She said. “If I change that, I change you. Then you won’t be yourself, you’ll be… someone else, something else.”

It was a dizzying logic that made my head hurt.

“So what’s going to happen to me?” I begged. “Will I ever make it?”

“All those things you’re scared of? They’re going to happen. You’re going to have to face them and it’s going to be painful and hard, but it’ll come out OK in the end. You might be surprised. You’ll have success, but it won’t be the way you think, and it’ll never feel like quite enough, I’m afraid. That’s just the me in you speaking.”

“Will I be happy?”

“Happy enough. Meaningful.”

Meaningful. Somehow that reassured me more than success or happiness. She smiled.

“I better send you back, or I’ll die looking at you. You’re… remarkable. That’s not quite the right word, but it’s close. Captivating. I’m at your mercy.”

“Me too.” I said. And then she was gone.


~ by Gwydhar Gebien on December 4, 2016.

One Response to “Creative Conversation”

  1. […] was trying to write myself into a story. I imagined a scene I which one of my fictional characters dreamed me into existence- a piercing of the veil between […]

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