These words aren’t about you. They’re about me. I take all the tender moments I have in my life and reduce them to char, and every now and again, a piece might look like a femur, but I assure, it’s all so mixed even with everything else that I can’t separate you from my sister, my dog from my cat. You’re all the same… and not. I use little details to stand in for other things. I might hold you up as a lens through which I can safely explore a dark corner that’s been terrifying me. But that’s about as far as it goes.
That tree? It stands in for all the other trees I know and love. Your face, (“your” being the disjoint you, the multiple you) that you could project onto anybody? You can project it onto anybody. There’s a reason for this. We all want universals and we all want specifics. That’s the point isn’t it? To crossbreed enough experience to come out with strange hybrids of characters that still read true. It’s all a strange and ill-funded project in narrative genetics.
You’re in there and you’re not. Just as I am. Just as my mother is, and my cousins. Just as the gerbil I accidentally starved and the mockingbird outside my window during high school who never learned to shut the hell up. Because you wanted specifics, I will sift and invent, and in the end, I have a grafted olive, a grafted apple, perhaps three colors of hibiscus on one bush. But they grow. They grow strong. And they taste right.