The thing about reading (or anything that revolves about consumption of our fave fiction stories) is you’re bound to meet one that will resonate you. And sometimes you’re get to see yourself in the very thing that you read. Like a sticky note in the office that tells you to remember. To not forget. Well, that happened to me and I felt conflicted with the experience.
I don’t wanna see myself in the stories I read and it’s better that way.
I don’t really crave a representation of myself in what I read. I honestly prefer if I don’t see myself in any of it. I don’t have that huge desire to be the protagonist of any series. I feel it’s not all necessary to remind me of my circumstances (that said representation in media is much needed, I am speaking for myself here not to confuse me of being against it. I’m 100% in favor of “proper & accurate” representation, especially of marginalized group by the same marginalized group). I think it stems in how I treat reading as: an escape. And to escape is to forget. And how could I forget when there’s something there that resembles so much of me in what I read. Of course I’ll remember
and occasionally that isn’t so bad.
But then there was Takemoto and he was like me; it was like a fateful encounter.
I was in the mood to re-watch ハチクロ last month and it reminded me again of my last year in college. My struggles of embracing adulthood or as they say the “real life,” was there laid in very funny yet emotional series. I’ve said this before I was at one time, a Takemoto, surrounded by amazing friends (coincidentally we were 5 in the group, too). I haven’t admitted it online before but my parents chose the course I took in college. I didn’t choose it, I went with the flow because I had no idea what I wanted to do. And I welcomed the suggestion like a map for the young directionless me. By the time senior year clocked in, I was scared. I didn’t know what to do after being in school for almost all my life back then. I was second guessing my abilities. While unlike Takemoto who rode his bike from Tokyo all the way to the North of Japan, I didn’t have the time or the mindset to search but I was as lost and as empty like the sound of his also empty refrigerator. And it struck how close what I was feeling to his. The strangest thing about me watching ハチクロ was I was also in senior college when I first watched it, and I just saw myself crying in the end. But I was hopeful ‘cos Takemoto found his way. I told myself that I too will find my way (eventually).
Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.
But I don’t wanna read about me if I cant help it. And even though I felt refreshed to see someone in fiction to resemble me. And that’s someone like me can be a protagonist of a story, that my experience is worth telling was a nice realization. Having said that, I still feel opting out when it comes down to it. And as Mark Twain said “truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities;” so I am content to live my truth as the protagonist of my own story (life). So sometimes I want to escape, I want to submerge in stories that have nothing to do with me like a true escapist (and forever will be). I want to drift away for few hours a day in my life, so the more it is not my reality the better.