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Getting Personal with Personal Narratives

I am handed an interview packet about a girl I don't know. I flip through the pages and read her words about her life.


Her choice of words.

I read her name.

I try to call her name.

I know who named her, and what her name means to her and to the world, if anything.

I relate, as if I know her.

I know her.

The next morning, I hear that another person's name is half his mom's name, half his dad's. He carries them in him. They are with him.

I know him.

I read about the girl,

I read what she wrote about herself,

the nickname she likes,

and the nickname everyone else likes,

her education,

her parents,

her grandparents,

their childhood,

their 1939,

and the world's 1939,

the war,

the grief,

the poverty,

the farm,

the bread,

and strawberries,

the guilt,

her questions,

the arguments,

her silence,

the distance,

his fall,

the change,

I read what she thinks of herself,

what they think of her,

of the war,

of the guilt,

of the bread.

I read what she thinks of him,

If she's ever allowed to like him,

"am I?" She asks.

I want to answer her.

I want to remove my tears. And hers.

I want to tell her, yes, you can.

I sip my tea, and flip the page.

She is away. I feel her distance. My silence. And hers.

She makes me cry, then pause, then laugh.

She makes me laugh, then pause, then cry.

She is close.

I know her.

I think I do.

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