Today I read Margaret Atwood’s “True Stories.” And here is my true story about this work: this is a poem that has some legacy, and rich history in my life. In my early 20s, I was living in Brockport, an upstate New York town outside of Rochester. I was heavily involved with the State University’s theater/dance departments: taking classes, workshops and often the opportunity to fail better and better in some unique stage production. Every summer, the community players would produce two summer shows- a musical and a dramatic show. This gave me experience to work with professionals (usually from New York City), and even better, the talented kids from the Rochester area. Because I was 20 going on 16, I’d usually bond with these kids, and often after rehearsals, we’d escape in my new Mustang into the big city, take in a live band at Scorgies or dance at Jim’s New Wave Night.
One of these kids, Royd, and I became buddies and really hit it off. He was heading off to Oberlin College that fall, and wanted to be a writer. We’d share our dreams of what that kind of life might be, and the fantasy of someday publishing our work. Lounging by the canal, we talked about our favorite novels that summer, and compared stories of growing up in small towns. After the shows ended, just before he left for Ohio, he passed me a note, and included were the handwritten words to this poem, “True Stories” by Margaret Atwood. I carried that note with me until 1999 when Hurricane Floyd destroyed most of my journals or notes that were written in marker pen. I could still decipher some of the words, but not the smeared author or title of the poem. And Royd and I had been out of touch for years, our ways lead on to ways, and so on…
Then, with the advent of social media, and Facebook…I tracked him down! And I was able to ask him about the note and poem. And voila! Here it is. Thanks, Royd! Thanks Margaret! Thanks life!
I hope you enjoy “True Stories” by Margaret Atwood:
What have you lost that you thought might never make its way back to you? Has it? Will it?