Some Clarifications

Dear readers–and for once I’ll use the plural without wondering if it’s warranted–thanks for all of your comments. I figured a post entitled He’s a Fuckin’ Keeper would indeed get people’s attention. A few clarifications based on your comments/questions…

First of all, everything I write about my experiences in this blog in fact have happened to me. I still ponder the question though of what is fiction and what is non-fiction. Though I give you slices of my life–mainly those times spent in bars–it is a select portion of my life. Even within the relationships that I write about, I’m sure there are plenty of other things I could add, but don’t–either because I never get around to writing about it or because it doesn’t necessarily fit in with the themes that have emerged from each of my “characters'” lives.

And, in other ways, you could argue, this blog is fictionalized. When I quote conversations do I quote them completely and accurately? I certainly try to, but for the sake of the narrative I often compress things, pick out the nuggets of truth (or even just humor). I never put words in people’s mouths, but I do streamline. And when I characterize people I’m also relaying my own impression of them. Is “the Jilted One” really “the Jilted One” any more? No, she’s long past that. Does everyone think of JetBlue as the person who can’t get her relationships off the ground? No, to be honest, if you ask most people they have a different and even lower opinion of her behavior. And K2? I’ve idealized and humorized some real sad, perhaps tragic, behavior on her part. But it’s my blog and I’ve chosen to see it that way. And Ms. Hold ‘Em? (and I’ll update you all later on this story line) She’s a far more complicated person than I even want to write about. In fact, for the first time since starting this blog, I’ve met someone that I don’t even know if I want to keep writing about her because we’re really connecting well in so many ways and I don’t want to trivialize the facts of her life–and, who knows, our life at some point. Oh, and I can’t forget Afternoon Girl–the only regular character here who knows about my blog, I might add. If I wrote about her–and us–in its entirety, you’d be truly amazed at the sensually complex and driven person that she is.

Well, enough about that.

Oh, and, as far as “the bar scene” that a number of commenters have referred to–first of all, I don’t mind comments that criticize, or that remember not so fondly, hanging out in bars. Secondly, one thing I may not have pointed out in the past is that until last February, I spent relatively little time in bars. This whole ‘nearly every night out’ lifestyle is new to me. But it has introduced me to a range of people I never would have encountered sitting at home watching The Office. Always Sunny in Philadelphia, maybe. But not most television. And it’s also provided me with something that I hadn’t really experienced in 14 years. Being single and free to do as I pleased. And, believe me, I’m happier than anyone else that I’m thinking I’m quickly on my way to transitioning back to the guy that reads books and watches TV and cooks and only goes out a couple of nights a week–and not necessarily to a bar when we do. Believe me, I’ve missed having someone (other than my kids) to go on daytrips with, go to the beach with, go out to eat with, whatever.

And, finally, please don’t confuse my bars with “the bar scene.” To me, the bar scene involves crowded clubs or martini bars with a bunch of well-heeled office workers and other 20-somethings going out with the purpose of picking up/getting picked up. The places I write about are nothing like that (not that pick ups, etc. don’t happen). When I write about “the usual bar” (sometimes just called “the bar”) think of Cheers but if it were on Showtime. Just a bunch of characters who are reliably sitting in the same seat on certain nights, often talking about the same things day after day, with the occasional plotline thrown in. (“Hey, someone just threw a rock through the back window” or “Hey, that guy just passed out and fell off his stool”)

The “secret bar” is very quiet. Often nearly empty. The sort of place you go if you really don’t want to be seen out and about. In the summer you might often find no more than ten people there, all of them out on the patio smoking cigarettes, and all of them knowing each other–not just from the bar, but from years of being friends. In my mind I sometimes liken the place to the Court of Miracles in the Hunchback of Notre Dame–you know, where the blind beggars can suddenly see and the legless can suddenly walk, where you’re free to discuss your recent grifts without anyone thinking anything of it.

So, that’s that. Thanks for reading and I hope you come back for more setbacks.

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6 Responses to “Some Clarifications”

  1. Novy Says:

    Hi from Michelle…

    I hope I wasn’t one of the ones you felt was being a critic… (no way could I even qualify besides my motto is live and let live… in other words if youre happy and no one gets hurts who am I to say anything ;))

  2. nosetback Says:

    No, Novy, you weren’t, but even for anyone who was, like I said, I don’t mind if someone else has not-so-fond opinions of bars and their denizens. To each his/her own as far as I’m concerned. I appreciate any feedback.

  3. Susan Helene Gottfried Says:

    Hey, Joe. Michele sent me today.

    My kids and I were having this same discussion of fiction/nonfiction last night. It’s a confusing thing — in their case, we were talking about the Little House on the Prairie books, which are based on real life but are considered fiction. The kids wanted to know why.

    As a writer, I suppose the difference is that life unfolds in a meandering way. In fiction, there’s a point. We’re going somewhere, we’ll arrive at some sort of destination via a climax.

    Of course, YOU try explaining that to a five-year-old…

    But you’re doing just fine, it seems.

  4. aka_monty Says:

    I must’ve misread all the comments in that post–none of them seemed at all critical to me!

    Hello, Michele sent me.

  5. nosetback Says:

    A Clarification of “Some Clarifications”: okay, I know that I should have chosen a different way of saying that I don’t mind what people have to say–it stemmed from one commenter emailing me and apologizing for seeming judgemental (and I hadn’t taken her comment that way) so when I wrote that line above that sort of thing is what I had in mind.

    So, to sum up, I didn’t really find any of them critical either…

    And can I just add that I’m working on two hours sleep here. (more on that later) I’m surprised I was able to write as much as I did!

  6. Jean-Luc Picard Says:

    Is fiction & non-fiction called ‘faction’?

    Michele sent me here.

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