I'm writing a novel about a family, directly based on my family, but it's not my family, of course. Because it's fiction, the story about the family is made up. I'm making it up. But there's no denying the fiction is based in reality. If it weren't for the details of the story, which are imagined, it would be the same story as the one I was told endlessly as a child, the story that was true. Or so I was told it was true by my parents.
As I got older, as I kept hearing the story, I realized that it wasn't exactly true, but that there was a spirit in the story that was true, the story's spirit was always recognizable, a solid fellow, a friend. A friend who wanted nothing more than for me to die, maybe, but a friend nonetheless.
So I'm writing this novel, I was writing it and I am still writing it now, about this family.
"Who's this story about?" my dad asks.
"It's about two women," I say.
"That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard," he says, his spit flying onto the Sunset magazines on his coffee table, a table which sags under the weight of a year's worth of magazines. Don't touch anything! "Who the hell would want to read a story about that?!" he caws.
Is that a real question? I don't even know. Who would want to read a story about two women? Depends on what the women are doing, in most circumstances, I think. If the women are having sex, then more people than not might want to read a story about it. If the women were having sex with each other than maybe even more people would want to read a story about it. Depends on one's demographics, I suppose.
How many people want to read a story about two women struggling to survive in the world, as friends, as lovers of men and of each other, as mothers and sisters and daughters? To survive in so many ways requires magic. Might as well. How many people want to read a story about magic?
Well, maybe quite a lot. There are some folk who would argue that they don't want stories about magic, they don't want stories with symbols, they don't want ALLEGORIES (god forbid!) because, they ask, what's the use? There is no use for such things as stories with symbols in them. We're dying now. NOW. See us now? We're dying.
We're all dying. Grow up and deal with it. So much effort goes into worrying about not dying. Give up. Die already.
Then, you can come back as two women having sex with one another. Who doesn't like that? It's like puppies? Maybe not. It's like godesses? Nymphs at least. There at last to titillate us back into blooming.