Jenny Forrester and Jennifer Fendya

Jennifer Fendya
(Digital Photo, 2013)
Inspiration piece


A Friend Flattened My Narrative
ByJenny Forrester

We’re walking along the creek. He’s just had chemo. He never complains, mid-western, older white man. He points it out. I wish he would not use the word “complain” and I wish he would feel free to have his full range of human experience through it but also, he’s the one with cancer not me. We met while volunteering at the library. He brought me flowers on Mother’s Day, So thoughtful. Sweet.

He says, “I’ll try to get through your book (the memoir I wrote), but the first sixty pages is like all those B movies from the 70’s.” My book I had thought of as, “Trailer Trash Republican Childhood,” until I figured out how problematic that was as I wrote and wrote and wrote in and behind and under and through all the years of writing it. I wrote my memoir, scene-driven, about the idea of Womanhood, the definitions of things, about the idea of American, the idea of Republican, the ideas placed on our humanity, value, sexism, and in the end, racism through the lens and life of the only perspective I have. My own.

Anyway. Other than flattening my narrative after I’d so carefully created an arc of it, he’s been really kind to me.
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