For Shame

I've been working on a short story, shamelessly autobiographical. Well, not totally shameless because otherwise I'd try to publish it or at least post it. There is shame. Not in spilling intimacies -- God knows I've done plenty of that, right on this website among other places. But in trying and, I fear, failing to transform lived experience into fiction. All writers of fiction do it. I spent a good part of my life studying such transformations. I wasn't bad at the studying. But the magicians never taught me the trick.

So I keep working at it. It's a depressing story. That doesn't shame me either, plenty of that here too. My recourse is a cherry tree outside my window and the expectation of its white blossoms. The tree with its blossoms is real, but the image comes from some silly samurai movie. A contemplation, to borrow another image, of a perfect day for banana fish.

I began the story a few years ago. In earnest. The banana fish were circling and writing was a way of keeping them at bay. Then when depression ebbed I started working the story, adding, taking away, mashing up with other texts I'd written, pruning the all too autobiographical self-pity so the fictive flowers could blossom. Still doesn't work.

Is it the shame? I said shameless, which in Spanish, the filter that all my words must go through sooner or later, is sinvergüenza. Except that sinvergüenza can be not just an insult but a term of endearment among lovers who delight in each other's roguery. This is a different shame. The one that drives to drink or drug. If only I could be roguish about this story, about the cherry blossoms that must come soon, all too soon and . . . 

But the real cherry blossoms outside my real window came in my real life. And nothing happened. Cherry fucking blossoms. Banana fucking fish. It's not the story that's really depressing. Not even the life. It's the story telling.