Fiction was invented the day Jonah arrived home and told his wife that he was three days late because he had been swallowed by a whale.
― Gabriel García Márquez (quote reblogged from Logical Quotes)
I seem to have a problem with fiction – writing it, that is, far from reading it. That’s why here are some examples of non-fiction instead, born in short bursts upon reading your blogs, posted as comments there and slightly edited for comprehension here. You are kindly invited to read the original posts as well, you will not be sorry.
I was age 10-20 in the 80’s, so in a way everything happened to me then. I went to school in Ljubljana, Slovenia – then still divinely peaceful Socialist Yugoslavia. Summers we spent by the sea in Croatia, winters skiing in Austria or Italy, New Year Eves in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. I watched series like “Pippi Longstocking”, “Den vita stenen” (“White Stone”; Swedish), Verano azul (“Blue Summer”; Spanish), whole lot of Yugoslav Partisan series, “How the West Was Won”, “Battlestar Galactica”. I listened to Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Wham and Prince. (The Doors came at about age 19.) At 18, university, where two years later I met my first live-in boyfriend, half Croatian, half Italian. That was the end of the easy 80’s. At 23 we ran a school of Italian language together, he was our first teacher. I was the director and I never listened in during the classes we organised, that’s why I still don’t know how to speak Italian now that I live here. 😀 (The last time I heard from him, his message was: “Serves you right!”)
The second short but telling comment I posted under a lovely procrastination story by Judith Sornberger at Brevity’s Nonfiction Blog:
As an English-as-a-foreign-language speaker, I used to think “procrastinate” was a bad word. I never used it, I merely glanced at it from afar. Then I encountered it in such an environment, said with such glee and innocence, that I knew it couldn’t mean what I’d thought it had meant. I needed some more time to realise a) what “procrastinate” really meant, b) that I’d been mixing it up with “fornicate”, and c) that I was guilty of this one too.
And now two comments under two posts by Susanne Fletcher at Wuthering Bites who I always love to read.
First she writes about swimming, and this rolled out after reading her:
A beauty. Throws me right back in the pool when I used to go. The pool belonged to the Faculty of Sports. When I exited once, similarly full of endorphins, I was approached by a young, handsome fellow, obviously a student. He asked for my phone number. Hm? “For the research, on the overweight?” He would help me with my diet.
I didn’t give him my number but took his.
(Then Susanne said she would have pushed him into the pool and I continued:)
Yes, but you see, I was on their territory. Everybody was fit and young there. (He was not being rude, he was offering his services of knowing what was good for me. These people wish to make everybody look like them.) Also, we were already in the parking lot, couldn’t push him…
And then she went to Mexico to write and returned with a warmhearted dog and whale story. And under it I wrote:
You always spur a recollection wheel in my brain. That’s good, I’d say. All I’d need to do now is write it down, but for that I’d need to slay a few demons first. Anyway, here is the memory, just for you:
I was walking my dog in my long blue dress after swimming, so you can imagine what state my hair was in. Pretty much goddess-like. We were in Piran, which is in Slovenia, my country of origin, and the sea was good. A local elderly fisherman, sitting in front of a bar which I was passing did not quite hoot or whistle but said to himself, pretty convinced that I’m just another foreign tourist: “Hooo, look at that piece of…” Before he could conclude, I stopped, looking him in the eye and asked him in his own dialect to embarrass him more: “Piece of what exactly? Now I really wish to now.” He lowered his head and waited for me to pass while the dog tried to make him his bitch. Just as well.
Photo: © signature mmm