Why Stories?

I will sit in front of you and I will tell you my story. I will be as truthful as my heart can manage. I will tell you my story in a way that makes sense to me. I will try to make you see what it’s like to be me. I’ll tell you what happened but more than that I’ll tell you the shape of the world. I’ll describe how it presses up against me. The colour of my emotions. The texture of my experience. I will make you understand.

I’ll make no apology for the way I feel. I’ll linger on things I find important. I’ll gloss over that which I find uninteresting. I won’t try and tell you all sides. It is my story and only I can tell it. Sometimes I’ll use words carefully chosen to provoke a specific reaction, sometimes I’ll be so caught up in a moment that I’ll speak candidly and without pretence. I will paint cityscapes broadly and fixate on the tiniest inconsequential detail. That is my right just as this is my story.

Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is not purely coincidental. It is entirely meant. Many of them are real, but they will not act in my story how they would act in theirs. They will be interpreted through me. My ideas, my prejudices, my respect, my privilege. You must understand that as I speak. That I am talking from the only perspective I’ve ever known, looking out through my eyes, speaking with my tongue.

I will tell you my story. And when I have finished I will thank you for listening to me.

And then I will participate in the most revolutionary act imaginable. The one that is going to change the world.

I will close my mouth and I will listen to your story.