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Je veux être la fille avec la plupart de gâteau. Regardez-moi dans la glace.
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26 April 2005


Artistic License

I am finding myself torn lately.

Being a blog author as well as a “character” in my own blog and two others that I’m aware of, I am coming face to face with the issues of subjectivity and interpretation in blog writing.

Jefferson, Marcus and I have discussed the fact that our relationship, however it evolves, is most decidedly outside social convention. Writing about that is tough. Talking about it is tougher. So I’ve entered into the realm of potential misinterpretive blog fodder. I want to address that before it becomes an issue.

I haven’t written about Marcus’s visit to me this weekend. Colton has. Jefferson has. I was surprised by Jefferson’s post, just as he was at Marcus’s quick decision to visit. I was concerned and a bit confused when I read Colton’s post, just as he is about my relationship with Jefferson and Marcus. So I feel I must write about the visit; if for no other purpose than damage control. Jefferson posted two sentences which received six comments; mostly from concerned friends who read into his post and saw him wounded by his best friend and online girlfriend “cheating” on him.

I thought about posting a comment there myself. Then I realized that it wasn’t my place. My job is not to convince people that Jefferson and I are in a good place in our relationship or that we’ve talked at length about us, about Marcus, and about the future. It certainly is not my job to do that in Jefferson’s space.

Here, though, in my space, I can. I will. It is my privilege as a writer; just as it is the privilege of others to write their stories their way. That being said, while the stories in my blog are as true as I can make them, I do not have a photographic memory. It is excellent at recalling events and conversations, but it is in no way perfect.

This must extend to each narrative blog one reads; they are subjective recollections of events, open to interpretation and revision.

It’s called artistic license.

I take artistic license as my right, and as a useful tool to move my stories along. The stories themselves don't change, they just flow more smoothly. Personally, I am not interested in reading blogs which are about nothing. If I don’t have anything to say, I will wait to post until I do. Others write their blogs religiously, every day, as a journal. This is their right. I edit my text for tempo, language and fluidity; others write extemporaneously, without edits or pause.

When Marcus and I were discussing the possibility of him visiting, I told him I was concerned about Jefferson’s feelings. I wanted to be sure he would be okay with it. Marcus felt the same way. He doesn’t want to damage my relationship with Jefferson, and sees our triad as something admittedly unconventional, and potentially wonderful. I myself felt torn, because this is a new dynamic for me.

During one of our conversations, Marcus said something like,

“Maddie, what are we going to do?”
“Share me.”
“I think Zeus had the right idea.”
“You’re gonna split me right down the middle? Gonna cut me right up in half?”

Sounds pretty good to me.

Marcus is a person I chose to meet. A person who meant a great deal to Jefferson, and by extension, I figured, would be a good friend to me as well. I didn’t expect us to like each other so much.

Jefferson and I have a relationship independent of Marcus, Marcus and I have a relationship independent of Jefferson, the two of them have a relationship independent of me. We are all trying to manage time together; I want them both to visit me, and I am certain Jefferson will still call Marcus to come to New York when he has visitors wanting a solid fuck.

Lord knows those boys can deliver that.

For now I’m content to share the boys. And to be shared. And, as with my own little boys, I want to be fair. Marcus and I will be alone this weekend. Jefferson and I didn’t have that during my stay in New York. We’ll have it soon. We’ve been talking about it for weeks.

I know that the need to compartmentalize is strong for most people. They want a nice little box in which to put their lives and feelings and relationships and they balk at anything which might spill over the sides. Problem is, things are rarely as tidy as we’d like them to be.

Anyone who writes a blog contends with misinterpretations and the drawing of false conclusions on a regular basis. My goal in this post is not to be defensive or apologetic, but simply to remind readers that between each line of text and the next one there is space. Read into that space what you will, but remember that your interpretation is just that.

So that’s why the sudden change in tone over the last two days. I felt the need to address you as author, and not narrator. It’s a fine distinction, but an important one. I welcome your comments and observations about my posts; they help me to be a better writer, and ultimately--I hope--a better person.

And now, back to the fucking.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen, sister!


Blogger Jefferson said...

You said it right. It's between the lines and behind the scenes.

I haven't been blogging much longer than you, dear Maddie. But early on, I also noticed a tendency among readers to assume that I was purely and entirely comprised of the stories I chose to blog. Not surprising, really, as that's all they had to work from.

So there comes this moment where the blog persona and the real person become a bit distinctive--when you find yourself wondering what Madeline would do in your shoes.

It's good to address readers now and then, even if it means dropping your voice, just to remind them that there is a real person here.

Blogger Colton said...

I get it. And my comments in my own blog regarding Marcus were based on old information, doll. I like the new model you sound like you're working towards and fuck everyone else if they don't think it'll work. I hope you get it all. And keep it. For as long as the three of you want.

And I want to meet 'em. It occurs to me that I've been a little judgemental - in spite of the idea I have in my head of myself as someone who is incapable of that.

You and Jefferson are right. I wasn't listening to myself. When I pointed out that so much communication was non-verbal, I was forgetting to read between the lines, and see the people behind the personas.

OF COURSE there is more to all of you than your blogs. I suppose that means there is more to me, too. Although I don't think that's what I'm trying to do with my little corner of the web. I think I'm trying to dig a little deeper into myself, and welcoming comment from those who might have insight that I don't.

In any case, I'm thrilled to be linked to you, doll. Let me know what I can do to help you get what you want.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

About a week ago I decided to stop reading this and related blogs. I assume that writers publish because they hope to be read, and I had enjoyed the breezy confidece behind the slick-comic-book reportage of fun topics: adults, sex, and kids. The two-dimensional quality was perfect. But then pathos (bathos!) entered in and the game was lost, for me at least. It was recommended that I read "Artistic License", and today I finally did. All right, with this post you've all regained a reader, at least temporarily. FoM

Blogger Jefferson said...

FoM gets us!

But remember FoM--at some point in all comic book narratives (the good ones, anyway), the hero loses his powers. It's generally temporary, and confidence is regained.

But it's the Kryptonite that reminds us that everyone is infallible.

Anonymous OI said...

It's fallible, not infallible. Infallible means invincible. And fallible means flawed. Just thought I'd clarify that with everyone.


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