A Million Little Pieces*
There’s no such thing as a “true” story. We—every one of us–fictionalize our lives. Everything is recorded through our senses and, as a result, our perceptions are highly subjective. My recollection of an event will differ sharply from that of other observers. The studies they’ve done on memory. False memories. Altered memories. Missing memory. Nothing we see is factual, everything is processed and interpreted by minds riddled with biases and preconceptions and false conjectures. Memories aren’t tactile but they are elastic. They’re comforting—or terrifying. Or sexy. But each one has been altered in a fundamental way. Edited by time, emotions and physiology. Like film, memory flickers, flutters, grows brittle and, eventually, breaks. Then the burning light.
- This tale appears in Stromata: Prose Works (1992-2011) by Cliff Burns; Black Dog Press; 2012