This last week I’ve been working on a three-part series based on yearbook memories from elementary school and junior high. What I’ve found interesting about the process is this:
Yearbooks are a kind of clear fiction we willingly pretend is true.
We all want our yearbooks to be signed—by everyone, by just the right person, by the cool kids—yet we know that what will be written in our yearbooks is, in large part, untrue.
We know this because we write those same untruths in other yearbooks.
There is a cliché we can deploy for every circumstance and level of friendship or enmity, and these are the same clichés we solicit for the pages of our own yearbooks—the same clichés we read and reread over the months and years that follow. (Hopefully not the decades that follow, however. We tend to reserve that timescale of cliché for Facebook posts.)
How many questions have I begged so far? Memory, fiction, truth, suspension of belief and disbelief. Write on.