Msnowe's Blog

Transom

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on December 29, 2009

Typing away as sure as ever. I couldn’t make out what was being scripted on that tiny little screen adjacent, but I knew that the fury, or the flourish with which he stroked the keys was probably more emphasized than any flourish he might use to stroke his neat and close-clipped ginger beard. Upon quickly choosing his seat next to me, the man made a quick call on his cell phone to someone he was obviously riding the bus to meet, and then settled in his aisle seat and ignored my presence for the duration. This was fine, in fact, preferred. He was unobtrusive and didn’t smell. Of course, having not really gotten a look at him while he stowed his baggage, curiosity urged me to take sly glances while pretending to look in a slightly different direction. This was all to get a better picture of him, perhaps for a story. Who knew he would be the one able to type away and formulate some unknown piece with his practically microscopic computer. Well, the bus ride was without incident, and that little compact man bolted as soon as the bus got to under 15 miles-per-hour near the underground gate at Port Authority. Before I knew it, I was staring down at his computer, which had fallen out of his bag and lay like a miniscule plastic folder on the sticky, wrapper-ridden floor of the bus. Looking around, no one seemed to notice, as they jetted for the exits, that the man left his belonging, and no one seemed to care that I picked it up and deftly slipped it into my canvas bag. It added practically no weight to my person. I would’ve run after him, but I had to pick up my bag in the lower outside compartment of the bus, and felt a grim satisfaction in the idea that even though this man was guarded about what he wrote on his laptop, the technology willed me to read it. Read it I must. So here follows what I came to find as a list of notes saved as “Thruway” (the most recent document opened) on this dapper man’s computer:

*********

Dialogue Notes: Two college-aged girls. One blond, the other brown-haired with highlights. Seat directly behind:

–So, I’ve got all these amazing ideas for funny youtube video sketches. Sometimes the ideas just pop into my head and they come too fast, I can’t even write them down. Like, this one–listen to this–So I stand in the middle of Union Street, you know, where Union College is? And I’m wearing this big puffy white wedding dress. And I’m crying and yelling and visibly upset. Well, my friend, this black guy, he’s actually more of a “friend of convenience,” since he knows how to shoot videos and download them on youtube, he’ll pretend to be Tiger Woods, and I’ll be screaming at him and all that. Isn’t that kind of funny? And then, if the cops tell me to get out of the road–well, actually, I’m a pretty girl in a dress, so they wouldn’t even, would they?


–So my friend _ _ _ _, she always complains how I’m sooooo much skinnier than her. Like it’s an argument worth having, as if I can’t just stand right next to her and be like, ‘Look, you’re thinner!’ It’s the stupidest argument in the entire world, don’t you agree? Aren’t I fatter than her? (Yes.) So I said–look, your label says ‘size four,’ mine says ‘size five.’ I’m obviously bigger!  Def fatter, ugh.


–Seriously, if you find any those gold-colored thongs when you go shopping, please pick me up a size medium, and I’ll pay you back–now that Joyce Leslie is closed, I can’t find a decent place to buy them.


–What an asshole. It’s like we’re already married anyway. What is it, ‘common law’ or something? We’ve been together like 9 years… (Seven years is for common law). Yeah, so we’re practically wedded. His friend is totally into me, by the way–you know when somebody just gets you? When they think everything that comes out of your mouth is fucking hilarious? Well, that is this guy–every time we hang out. Wouldn’t it be awesome if I cheated on my boyfriend with his best friend? I mean, then not only would he be pissed, he’d have no one to complain to, because hey, that’s his friend. (Silence). But I wouldn’t do that. I’m not that mean. But it’s fun to think about.


–So my dad stopped me from using my cell phone all week, because I texted too many times. So he actually took it and turned it off. Now I have no way to know who called unless they left a message. And I got like two texts on Christmas from boys I like. Wouldn’t you, if you were those boys, think I’m a total asshole for not texting them back? They probably hate me now. Oh, so when we get in the city, if we get separated, we should meet at Rockefeller Center, because I have no phone and can’t call you. (That’s scary). I know, right!


–So I’m not going to post anymore status updates on Facebook for a while, because he commented and liked my last status, and I want Everyone to see it, because they will.


–Speaking of Facebook, did you see that picture of _ _ _ _ with her mom when she went home to visit? She was wearing a full on sari, and the dot. But her boyfriend wasn’t even there. And it wasn’t like his family was there–why wear that get-up for her mom? That guy is totally brainwashing her or something. I’m like ‘you’re white!’ I really want to comment on that picture, but I know she’ll just delete the comment. But at least she’d see it and know how I feel.

********

This was, verbatim, what the two girls (well, mostly the one) were talking about on the bus. I knew he was listening. I tried to catch his eye and bond over some type of mutual commiseration at this situation–I had tried reading, using my earphones, but nothing could be done but listen to these girls and their oh-so-interesting, yet un-self-aware conversation. I had scanned the circumference of the passengers that sat around them, and found that most people also gave up their pursuits of distraction and could almost see their ears bending in the girls’ direction. The girls weren’t yelling, or laughing, but their voices carried exceptionally well on this otherwise silent bus. As amazing as I found their conversation (while feeling a bit guilty because even though it was ridiculous, conversations also sound more crazy when standing apart from them), all the more amazing did I find their complete lack of awareness (or perhaps lack of concern) at the subtle attention and smirks they were receiving even three aisles up. The two men in front of my bearded cohort and I bonded at first just by simultaneous smirks and snorts. An odd couple–one was a co-ed lacrosse player from U Albany, the other a well-dressed, bespectacled, balding thin man reading a large volume by Ford Maddox Ford. Eventually, as the conversation of the girls two seats back from them progressed, they began to add whispered commentary, which I could not entirely make out. It was like Mystery Science Theater on the Greyhound.

While at first I envied the comradery of the two men, it got me thinking about irony, and who “gets it,” and the compassion that is missing from jokes not only at another’s expense, but at a whole, living personality. Surely, the girls were misguided, and hilarious to eavesdrop upon. But something about their innocence, their either blatant disregard for who heard them, or their ignorance to those around them listening and judging….

While it was depressing to think these were representatives of my gender, somehow, they came off that bus a little better than the “knowing” smirkers in front of me. At the very least, they made for a more interesting ride, and more interesting notes. Of course, that bearded man may never polish that story off.

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Thermostat

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on December 18, 2009

We all complained the house was too cold. It’s the middle of winter in upstate New York, and he’s got the thermostat set to 62 degrees Fahrenheit after 10PM, and a cool 67 or 68 during the daytime hours. “Energy Savings!” he always boomed, as if the man knew or cared about Global Warming (this was before Al Gore invented the internet, or that rhetoric). Well, instead of fighting us, my dad gave up trying to explain himself as a tightwad and taped a Calvin and Hobbes comic strip to the bottom of the thermostat (the thermostat, like his electric razor or collection of Terry Brooks classics, was a known “do not touch” thing). To this day, my siblings and I realized and remember that comic’s dual purpose–to make us laugh, and to warn us of the mortal peril we face should we again complain that our toes, every night, were turning a more gray and ashy shade of blue.

My father is a direct man, someone you can count on to never be passive aggressive, or say one thing and mean another. Sarcasm and figures of speech, while I’m sure he knows what they are, are not part of his repertoire–and that is something to appreciate. He shuns them, and so despite my easy understanding of him and this character trait, I would often try out sarcasm on him, and see if he understood, and if so, whether or not he would play along. These moments of trial always ended in disaster–ten minutes of shouting, followed by my over-exaggerated explanations that I had not, in point of fact, meant that mom was anything like “Mummy Dearest.” But that is a story for another day.

So the Calvin and Hobbes. This strip was one of the lesser ones–it did not even include Hobbes, who I felt really carried the whole series of comics upon his striped and furry shoulders. The strip is a conversation between Calvin and his father, who apparently is the fiercest Patent Attorney this side of the Funnies Section. Calvin complains that it is very cold in his house. His father explains that this is just a matter of opinion, and can be fixed with a better sense of the full-scale of cold weather. And so, Calvin’s father locks him outside the house, in the snow, and makes some remark about how, when he comes back inside, he will have a new-found appreciation for the temperature of his house.  The most sadistic part of this strip was that you never see Calvin reenter the home–you see him banging his un-mittened hands against the front door, screams of shock muffled with tiny squiggles in the margin, as the father calmly and indifferently walks away, towards his living room, probably to read the paper and smoke a pipe. But the message taped to the thermostat was clear: get in line, or get out. As a seven or eight year old, comic strips are perhaps the best way to learn such abrasive lessons.

This was all well and good, and we kept our mouths shut, and doubled-up on woolen socks and blankets. But we hadn’t learned quite enough. My father epiphanied–he understood the power of a simple act of reading, cutting, and affixing. Soon, our house became a repository for all sorts of comic strip lessons. By the doormat, he pasted a Hagar comic to express his wish that unlike pillaging vikings, we wipe our feet. Dilbert sighed at us by the computer. Snoopy did cartwheels near the dog food. Luann was found near our closets, cautioning us on the perils of dressing too provocatively. Garfield warned us not to eat the leftovers he would inevitably take with him to work the next day for lunch. Soon, we would have burned into our memories a picture of dad, hunched over the paper on Sunday mornings, scissors poised and ready for a new lesson. Ziggy, Beetle Bailey, Blondie, Cathy, Heathcliff, Marmaduke–they were the ones who raised us, and threatened punishment. Dennis the Menace was our anti-hero, and never did we think for a moment that Mr. Wilson was out of line or too crotchety for his own good.  This was a fine way to grow up–all the things you could or couldn’t do, plotted out and referable in either dialogue bubbles or visuals.

But it didn’t end there.

My mother, one year for Christmas, received a special gift in her stocking from my father. It was a tiny wooden plaque that said : “Today’s Menu: Two Choices: Take It or Leave It.” It was ornately carved, and gave the impression that instead of a ultimatum, a lovely sonnet about the joys of cooking was displayed upon it. Our mother was thrilled. She too had been a victim of this mass comic-strip propaganda (who knows what kind of strips he taped in various places throughout their bedroom). But now, she had been inducted into his special club of domestic message media. They were now a force, a pair to be reckoned with–she hung that tiny plaque above the oven and referred to it, almost daily (but most vehemently on “ham loaf night”). And it didn’t stop there. She found doilies and pillows and picture frames with other not-so-subtle messages, some about keeping a clean house, others about intangibles like love, family ties and “home-sweet-home.” These, although they filled the spiritual and sentimental gaps that the practicality and functionality of the comic strips left out, were in some ways much worse. These told us not only how to act, but why we should be acting the way we did. And most of them didn’t have pictures, or punishments. My mother, instead of telling me to do the right thing, would nod her chin towards the quilt on the rocking chair, or put a coaster with a scripture quote engraved upon it underneath my coffee cup.

As all this was happening, I was studying national propaganda in world history class at the time, and felt like any day, there would be family marches scheduled around our yard, and flags flying from the living room ceiling. I needed some way to fight what I thought was the systematic brainwashing of such overt messaging. But instead, I kept my head down and waited it out until college, and moved into a dorm.

Happy to have my own space, I kept the walls white and free from tacks. My roommates, and everyone on my floor–they went to the poster sale. Soon, Bob Marley, John Belushi and Dave Matthews Band reined supreme. I wanted Calvin and Hobbes back.

Notes on the Outine for the Creation of a Memoir

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on November 23, 2009

So I’ve sat down here at this lovely writer’s table (made of fine milkwood slats from IKEA) to begin composing my memoir. I think it’s very important to call it such, as it really gives a French sensibility to the whole idea — “autobiography” is a garish word, one that I associate with many other “auto” words, including eroticism.  Actually, in that light, it’s very important that before I go into the details of my quixotic 23.3 years of life, I first outline some things that will not be touched upon in my memoir.  So let me tell you right now, I’m not a pervert. A weird sexual fetish would indeed increase my eccentric caché, but at what cost to my roguish yet boy-next-door demeanor? Perhaps just the wink of a intercoital tick, nothing too tragic or unredeeming. Fecundity is key.

**** ****

Sorry, I had to stop for a moment in order to fill my stem-less wine glass with a nice Cabernet. That’s right, I’m deftly swishing it around in my left hand right now. I hope later that my hours toiling over this manuscript will be gauged by the reddish-brown rings left by the wine on the corrugated cardboard slats parallel to where I rest my computer.  But right now, the wine is twirling like a tiny eddy in my glass. Speaking of moving against the current, my memoir will also be a counter-cultural view of the political and social age. For one, I’ll be sure to voice my simultaneous amusement and condemnation of things. God, I loathe myself…isn’t that funny?

I’m working intensely right now on developing an obsessive, self-destructive habit (non-sexual of course), and also looking to get into an abusive relationship. I haven’t decided whether it would be better to find a fragile and loving woman in order to slowly and irrevocably crush her soul while she continues to pledge her loyalty, Maryann Carver-style, or whether we would have an intriguing role-reversal scenario in which she threatens castration and dogs my work in more of a Zelda kind of way. Either way, that woman isn’t getting any of the royalties from my books. And my physical estate (including the desk and wine glass) will be donated to some sort of obscure German museum with an Übermensch curator. Note: inserting the word “Übermensch” is perhaps the easiest and best way to exhibit your erudition and confuse people at the same time.

Now that I’ve got a few glasses in me and feel a kind of Hemingway-at-a-French-cafe repose (which incidentally doubles as the perfect gray-scale back-cover photo pose), I would like to really reflect on things, kind of to add that extra philosophical node to my body of work. If a man is truly judged by what he didn’t do as much if not more so than by what he’s done, perhaps not writing a memoir is the best idea yet. Or maybe a memoir with blank pages? Because heck, I can’t remember everything as it happened. And that’s the god-honest truth.

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Grocery

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on November 5, 2009

resampled_3__runaway-shopping-cart1

That place never has any plain rice. They have jasmine, and yellow, and Basmati, and brown mixes and medleys, but never the plain sticky “I just worked in the paddy all day” white. That’s not the first time I went into that store looking for the basest of base ingredients and came  through the opposite swinging door empty-handed and ticked off.

This time, some jerk with a smile on his face was standing in a Hawaiian shirt at the entrance, and told me I had to go through the exit doors around the corner instead of back out the way I came in.

Well, I hate doing that.

Every time, no matter how small my bag is, I feel like I’m trying to smuggle something out, unpaid. I don’t ever steal except for that one time when I took plastic figurines off my grandma’s mail table, and after my parents found the tiny orange giraffes caravanning on the dresser in my room my chin smarted for a week. I was really foxed by those giraffes.

But I feel like a crook whenever I leave a store through a separate exit and haven’t bought anything, but the store layout makes it so you are definitely exiting and not entering. And you pass the registers, and you say to yourself “I didn’t buy anything, but I have no reason to feel strange or apprehensive.” But then the thought that you have no reason to appear that way makes you wonder how you appear, and that extra layer of consciousness always gets me–soon my eyes are shifting, and I’ve morphed into a hoodlum, complete with baggy pants, a cautious step, and a feeling that my parents never thought I would amount to anything. I’ll show them for slapping me on the chin.  What’s an 85-year old woman doing with tiny giraffes anyways?

That’s the feeling of the tragedy of capitalism, or something. And they make the exits so sinuous and impossible to get out of without banging into something or otherwise drawing undue attention to yourself.  It’s like navigating a sleigh in the Iditarod with rabid raccoons, all the more if you have an empty cart with a busted front wheel.

My dad once told me never to talk politics in polite conversation. But I don’t think it’s politically controversal to ask markets not to fill their register n-caps with small bags of goodies I would like. You’re walking through without a purchase, or you have your ingredients for dinner, and then you see that damn barrel of honey roasted peanuts, calling out like an orange giraffe on a mail table. But you don’t need them, and they are pricey for such a small portion. It should be illegal. It’s like they are aiding and abetting a crime. The crime? Highway robbery, as my father would say.  And if you’re on a public highway, it is now a political/social issue. I’m more than capable of shoving bags of peanuts in my pockets unnoticed before I get to the checkout. But now, when they’re right in my face at the end of my trip, I’m mad if I missed them back in the aisle where the security camera doesn’t have good visibility. The pockets of my coat  can’t afford any unusual bulges. I didn’t think it was possible to say “fuck you” using legumes, but that just goes to show how insidious politics can get.

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Just in case…

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on October 21, 2009

cartoon_plane

Dear Reader (whoever you might be):

So I just wanted to write this letter in case I am the victim of a horrible accident. I decided to go on a trip to Europe, and while it was fun planning, now an over-arching sense of dread is totally mucking up all my excitement. So I decided that it would be best to write this letter in preparation of my unlikely, yet possible, demise.

So first, let me say that I really love my family. And my friends. I mean, I know a lot of people would say that, and Love Actually already covered that aspect of human relationships and planes crashing right at the beginning of the movie, but I just really want you to know that I actually mean it. Sometimes I yell at you all, and sometimes I don’t talk to you for years on end, but let me assure you, that as I approach my watery grave, you and every other single person I’ve come into contact with will go through my mind, like, um, a Rolodex of emotion. This I promise you–and even you, Ewan, who I promised, while yelling down from my bedroom window, that “I would never even think of your sorry ass again,” well, in this instance of despair and terrific horror, my emotions, like my bowel  movements, will be out of my control–and so I will think of you. I want you to know that, so you can feel especially bad once this letter is made public.

I feel like I should also tell you all how I want to be remembered. This can go one of two ways, and it’s all dependant on how exactly I die, and whether or not my remains are found.

Okay, so if they find me, I want a full funeral. But before that, I would like a group meditation, with the final Leo DiCaprio scene in Titanic playing softly in the background. (I know, I know, that was a ship and this is a plane, but come on, he’s clutching debris and sinking into the ocean–same difference!). Then, I want that song that they played for Liam Neeson’s dead wife in Love Actually played as the pallbearers bear the pall. I forget the name of the song, or who sang it, but god that was beautiful. Also, get Liam to be one of the pall bearers. He doesn’t have to cry, but a single tear would add a nice touch.

If they don’t find my body, I would still like you all to believe I went down loving, in my mind, every one of you–however, and this is key: I am not dead. I was in the tail of the plane. I crashed onto an abandoned tropical island, and a Matthew-Fox-looking guy is tending to my wounds and trying, with more and more success, to seduce me into a tryst of tropical, tropical passion. (Yeah, how do you like that, Ewan? How does that smack you?).  So again, I am totally still alive (even if I’m not). Disregard my early infatuation with Amelia Earhart, and understand that it is a mere coincidence that we both ended up missing (but feel free to bring it up, teary-eyed, when you are interviewed on the Today Show, or Oprah). Come to think of it, my story should be more compelling and have a longer shelf life, seeing as I’m waaaay hotter, and Earhart was kind of a gap-toothed, Eleanor-Roosevelt type, if you understand what I’m saying. And if Dateline has taught us nothing else, it has shown us that hot people who go missing are much more important than the fugly-looking ones.

Alright, I think that’s really all I have to say. So remember, you all are so important in continuing my legacy once I am gone. And also, this letter should be saved for posterity, so please keep it safe. (But just in case you misplaced it, there are about ten copies scattered about my apartment, and at work.)
Love,

Me

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Summer Reading Reply, #1

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on August 13, 2009
m.snowe read Remainder, by Thomas McCarthy. If you liked Groundhog Day...

If you ever wanted to direct Groundhog Day...this might be your book.

So m.snowe came to this book knowing absolutely nothing about it, other than it was recommendedby this dude , and the cover is quite pleasing to the eyes.

m.snowe will be the first one to admit she doesn’t read much (enough?) contemporary fiction. Usually, she likes her authors d-e-a-d dead. This way, she can pick an author, and also start wherever she likes in terms of the canon–maybe read the most popular work, then dig through the earlier stuff, or vice versa, or something else entirely. But she took a chance on McCarthy and his first novel. And although McCarthy may not be dead, he seems to have a little fetish with it.

First, the best parts:

  • Humor.  Perhaps m.snowe’s favorite part of the book was when the protagonist nonchalantly asked that the cats which fell off the roof to their deaths be replaced with new cats as necessary. There was no attempt to make it so that the cats wouldn’t fall. The narrator had the ability to “waste cats,” so he did. Of course, this is an example of the dark humor that deepens as the book does. The affectlessness of the narrator was brilliant. And although his actions are within the scope of human possibility whenever someone has a focused vision and drive, and although something truly sinister is lurking behind the hilarity of the narrator’s actions, well, it’s still funny.
  • Definitions.  Don’t know entirely why, but the simple idea that the narrator received definitions from his coordinator via text message was also brilliant.
  • Perspective. m.snowe is very choosy and finicky when it comes to perspective, but this story just wouldn’t have been any good had it been told from anyone else’s vantage point. There, she said it.

Okay, here’s the problems m.snowe had with it:

  • Bland repetition. Yes, that’s a main point of the book. And this is merely an aesthetic comment—to each their own.  m.snowe happens to dislike things that rely on repetition (including Groundhog Day). But if you like it–all the better for you. Repeating, re-staging–these are important to the narrator, and help form the foundation of the book. Weirdly, the idea itself is more pleasing to m.snowe than actually reading it in a narrative.
  • Preachiness. It’s clear that McCarthy has an agenda. (Sure, sure,–all authors do). But his agenda, while not entirely clear (International Necronautical Society? Please.), is always present. Sometimes in some books (read: Orwell) it works.  Sometimes, you just want to enjoy the story and not feel the pressure of some idee fixe cramping your ability to languish within a plot. “Inhabiting a zone of conceptual death”? Goodness. I’m with their manifesto that “There is no beauty without death, its immanence.”  And m.snowe likes the idea, the obsession and seemingly crude love of death and “reality” and beauty that the narrator inhabits, but there must be some less obvious, more insightful way to get there than a narrator who is easily pegged as a post-traumatic psycho almost from the very beginning. What would hit closer to home (and be scarier) would be a character without some pinpoint-able trauma—a character who’s background is shockingly similar to the reader’s own.

It’s strange—m.snowe was all set to rip this book to shreds–while reading it, that’s all she wanted to do. Yet sitting here, with it finished and pleasantly dog-eared, it’s hard to formulate a really angry tirade against it. Trying to reevaluate the displeasure is, well, displeasing. So m.snowe gives you this advice: just go with it. It’ll be over and done with soon enough.

Onto the next recommendation–“The Untenable Featherweight of Existence”…Wait, no…this one.

Feminist Afterthought: McCarthy’s Fiction Lady-Rating: 3 out of 10 at best. Catherine, Annie, a Liver Lady and a woman with a bag on her head. All peripheral characters, and treated as such. Naz is, of course, male.

funeral fiction

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on April 28, 2009

On the fiction of funerals, and the reality of fiction.

m.snowe thinks she’s been reading too many books. Or something.

m.snowe had the rather dubious task of attending the wake and funeral of a loved-one in the past few days. Anyone who spends all four hours at the wake and an entire day at the mass, burial and assorted family functions will tell you that the points of grief ebb and are often punctuated with times that are completely incongruous with the actual events taking place. And this is a good thing–we can’t be crying the entire time. But in those moments of introspection separate from mourning, m.snowe got to thinking about funerals in general. And the overarching sentiment she came to terms with was this: Bogus.

Why so bogus? First, the misrepresentation. m.snowe has an irrational fear of not being understood, or somehow being misinterpreted to ill effect (solipsistic, yes, but true). While this may be a personal fear projected onto her view of the scene, m.snowe couldn’t help but think that most people (unless ridiculously horrible human beings) would like to be presented accurately as themselves, and remembered as themselves. Nothing annoys this blogger more than the phrase “so-and-so would’ve wanted it that way,” and the like. No, so-and-so may not have, and you just have to accept that you’ll probably never know what they wanted. Many people have a fear of the indeterminate, and perhaps that’s why funerals are so necessary–they solidify things into a compact, two-day affair, where the family and friends gather around and decide that this was all worth it.

But m.snowe could not reduce a life down to the five french memory boards that held pictures from eight decades on them. And when she heard the priest say something about the departed’s personality that she knew to be false, she couldn’t help but cringe–despite the priest’s valiant efforts to laud a man or his life, isn’t it better to truthfully understand a man than hear reassuring pleasantries? It felt like the contrite narratives of check-out line mass-market fiction–written to a formula with slightly different characters. Why do all the stories have to be the same, just rejiggered to (hopefully) fit the person being mourned? There is no way to make sense of the experience of a life into a ritual of two day’s time–yet we try to, and fail beautifully. There is no such thing as closure. There is no such thing as a meaningful exit. Our book ends are not matching, nor do they hold steady.

What does this have to do with fiction? Well, m.snowe was often schooled that a writer’s work is never really done, and the only way to know for sure that it is, is with their death (comments on death being an “excellent career move” via book sales aside). This may or may not be accurate, but the actual book itself–the novel, or the short story, or the play or poem–once it is bound or published, once it has entered the reader’s head, it has become a perfect little life, independent of its writer and the question of their mortality. Like Aristotle said, the piece of writing has a beginning, a middle, and an end, no matter how it tries to forgo convention. It is at once a living work, and a dead one that is able to define itself perfectly with no ritual, incense or false memories. There is no flux, although the interpretations may change and the original meaning of the author may have slipped away. Fiction is more real, and surely less temporal than we are. Of course there are exceptions to the rules, but m.snowe is hard pressed to relay them…

Also, it can’t be a coincidence that so many of us are obsessed with writing, and recording, and documenting, and creating these works of fiction. Because although no work can encapsulate us, our writings have the ability to become some unchanging fermament–a sunny day we can choose to make our own, and always revisit, with no fear of misrepresentation or miscalculation. Fiction is our best eulogy.