When we arrived at Somerville in July, a close friend said, “My life is a movie.” That’s when this storytelling bug clicked. The week long trips to the Lake District, hikes up the Louhrigg Fell at sunset, croquet on the lawn listening to Radiohead’s The Bends on repeat.
[Me at Abby Road, London, July 2002]
I came to understand an elder son’s burden when my roommate and best friend had to go home because of a parent’s health. Reality settles: this will eventually happen with me and my father. And as I play with my son this past weekend, take him to Free Comic Book Day—he will have to come to terms with this fact as well: I will not be here forever for him. In fact, the only one who will be is his younger sibling or siblings. (Who does not exist yet.)
But that’s what is important about stories: eventually your story becomes your kid’s story. No story is ever truly yours, although only you can tell it. You must decide to sit down and give it to someone else. To make that connection. That’s why you must ask—can I tell this story? It involves you. A piece of your soul.
Then we make our marks on the walls, send our words up in balloons, and give it to someone else who creates fond memories of the material that has been read.
If I’m not feeling that gut fire of honesty when telling a story, you’ll never read it publicly.