On the Page


Yes, you're right, and fiction writers do use their own experiences and those of people around them as material. That's natural.


Do you write? Have you ever had the feeling that once a feeling, an experience, is turned into words and fixed on paper, you can't feel it anymore? It is as if you catch a beautiful butterfly and fix it on a foam board for taxidermy, and it will no longer be a butterfly. There may be other butterflies just like this one, fluttering among the flowers, but they do not flap their wings with the same pattern, do not land on the same chamomile. It's the same with feelings, especially when you pencil in exactly what that feeling and experience are like, and you will never feel the same again.


No, I'm not avoiding the topic. I'm not mocking you either. I know you're not a writer, but that's what I like about you, isn't it? Since you can't write, you wouldn't ruin my image in your novel - well okay, I did just make a sarcastic comment, but since you pressed me for a reason, I hope you'll listen to the end.


I wrote in my diary when I was a kid: I had just finished fighting with my dad and he made me kneel in front of him and wouldn't let me go to school because I disobeyed him. I cried and wrote: “You're such a heartless bastard, I wish you'd die.” Yes, that's what I literally put down on paper, word for word. Later, when I read that diary again, I was horrified because I couldn't believe something like that could happen, and even if it did, I couldn't believe I would curse my own father to death.


Don't look at me like that…I'm fine. I'm not trying to gain your sympathy and excuse myself. I just happened to find the diary from that time, here you go, it's all about me as a child. I found this diary before I thought I had to face you ... Yes, you're right, I've been running from this. I didn't want you to see the story I wrote because I anticipated that we would have this conversation today.


Yes, that's right. Abigail is based on you, and her friend is based on me.


Why did I write that…Let me make an analogy. Did you know that when the camera was first invented, many people were resistant to being photographed? Because the camera can faithfully reproduce the appearance of its subject, which was intimidating to some people. I remember reading articles about how old people in the countryside resisted having their pictures taken because they thought the pictures were too similar to their real faces and would chain their souls in them. I think it's the same with creative works. You must have read the book The Picture of Dorian Gray, which I remember lending to you. The artist in the story painted a portrait of Dorian Gray. It was the best work of the painter. He poured so much passion into it that it captured the soul of Gray. From then on, no matter how evil Gray became, only the portrait would be burdened by his evil deeds. Gray himself, was still as beautiful as an angel.


I did not say that you are ugly inside, not so. I made a wrong analogy, my bad. But I wrote it like it was true, right? That's why you called to confront me immediately after reading it. Yes, that college was your college, and that teacher was our math teacher. She was a small woman, thin and pale. I knew you'd recognize it. The way she walked silently behind the librarian in her soft-soled leather shoes was exactly the same as in the old high school days. I also wrote the scene of Abigail and her boyfriend very well, right? The two waited until all the students attending the lecture had left and then made out inside the lecture hall ... I didn't mean to upset you. No, I did not eavesdrop outside the door! Or maybe I did ... I don't remember, I have no recollection of me doing such a thing. But it may be proof that I am a good writer, that I capture the spirit, that I write a scene as if it had actually happened. Abigail's boyfriend spoke exactly as I imagined he would. His tone feels very real. I almost think I have heard him talking somewhere before.


You asked me why I wrote you in the novel as a manipulative freak, a hysterical bitch, right? You said it wasn't like you at all, that you weren't like that, that you didn't demean me, didn't control me, and never wanted to steal my man, that you never wanted to hurt me.


But listen to me, a long time ago, when we were in middle school, we weren't very close. I was friends with two other girls, then the next semester they were yours and I never got to talk to them again. The reason? There was no reason, the reason was just that you didn't like me and you wanted to isolate me. You said that to me yourself. Yeah, I know that you don't remember. Did I make it up? I don't know, but I found myself writing about it in my old diary. Here, take it. You can read it. No, not that one, that one was about my dad. The paper crumples because it got wet by my tears. Every time I open it, it will turn to that page. The one about you was at the end.


You got to it? "No one is my friend"...I really wrote that? That’s funny. I didn't accuse you of not being genuine, it wasn't like that. You don't need to justify yourself. I didn't do it to reveal you. I know I mentioned the Dorian Gray story, but what I was trying to say was different from the story. In the final chapter, Gray stabbed his own portrait. The portrait could no longer bear his guilt, and his deserved karma was finally fulfilled on him. But that's not my point.


My point is ...like you said, you're not fourteen now, and even if what I wrote in my diary was true, it was a long, long time ago, and you don't think that way anymore. I don't think that way anymore either. After all, words are not evidence. There is no truth to be revealed between the lines. No matter what I wrote in my diary, or novel, once those things happened on the page, they have never happened in real life. They are chained to the ink and paper forever. They are not true. What is true is that...you are my friend.


You'll always be my best friend, you know that? I've never told you this before, but I love you. I've always loved you. Do you need me to write that down too


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