life, pt. 5


Life is narrative. It's not that stories all work out in the end--they obviously don't--but stories are important. Probably the only thing that's important in this fucked up world we live in. That's the thing I've always latched onto when it seems like it's slipping out of control.

Well, I say "always." This is one of those things I can trace to a single conversation. This was after some party at someone's house back in high school, hanging out with Alex on the porch. I always felt overwhelmed at big parties, though Alex seemed right at home. She was right at home pretty much anywhere.

I was complaining about the sorts of things you complain about when you're seventeen and think that everything is the end of the world, and she just shrugged and said, "I'm sure you can make a good story out of it, at least." You know, the sort of meaningless thing you say when someone is complaining and you don't really think it's worth complaining about but you don't want to just slap them and tell them to shut the fuck up.

But I was drunk, young, and impressionable, and that seemed somehow profound. That became the lens I used to view the world, and suddenly stories were everywhere I looked. It was still overwhelming--life will always be overwhelming--but it was comforting, and then it was important. Since life is narrative, it's always safe to say you're part of something that will last long after you're gone.

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