Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen

Her yes is mine.

On Saturday, I read Octavia Butler's Fledgling. I didn't want a vampire novel. I read it anyway, because every other time I've said, "No, I don't want a vampire novel, but this author maybe..." it's turned out all right. And it did. I think it's my favorite of her novels. I'm not sure yet.

This afternoon, I reread "The Evening and the Morning and the Night." Someone on my friendslist said it was about the costs and benefits of a genetic disease, and I sat here making a baffled face at the computer, because it's not about that at all, it's about being a Mrissa. It is, in fact, more about being a Mrissa than anything I ever write myself will be. Every time I finish reading it, I make an incoherent little noise from way down by my diaphragm. Sometimes I cry, but every time the incoherent noise, and every time I just close my eyes and sit there with the story for awhile. Because her "yes" is my "yes," too.

When I told my friend Zed that it was one of the stories that's mine, one of the stories that speaks best for my heart in all the world, he said, "Ah," and looked at me hard, and then said, "Ah," again, and Zed is a smart man, and I knew that he understood a good deal more about me than he had five minutes earlier. And now I'm telling you, and maybe I shouldn't, because you are generally smart people as well, and because this is not filtered. But I think that if you know that that is one of my stories and Bridge to Terebithia is another, you know a good deal more about me than Scandosotan girls should ought to tell.

Fledgling was like "The Evening and the Morning and the Night" -- not so much mine, but the brighter side of a similar story, a bit. It was a vampire novel, after all; it was bound to be brighter than a science fiction short story, wasn't it? And I think maybe it helps me go on telling more than Scandosotan girls should ought to tell, just like "The Evening and the Morning and the Night" did, just like Bridge to Terebithia did when I was small and curled on the floor of my dad's car. It reminds me of how my bones align, with a little click. It reminds me of where my yes goes, and where it comes from.

And once you've said that yes, the rest is not obvious, not even easy. But it's there.
Tags: bookses precious, he almost told her

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