It’s not every day that you see a defaced poster of yourself taped to a wall over a urinal.
I cringed but remained motionless, staring at the poster, studying the large letters crudely written across my face.
Clearly, my book had irked someone. But who? I’m not a celebrity. I’m not rich. I have less than 1,500 Facebook friends. I take the subway, for Christ’s sake. It’s not like I am a New York Times bestselling author, with legions of fans and international media attention. Who would feel the need to write FICTION across my face?
Oddly, earlier in the week, I gave an interview to a blogger for the Huffington Post who was, for some reason or another, under the impression that Your Boyfriend and Other Guys I’ve Kissed is a work of fiction. Halfway through the interview, he asked, “Do people ask you where you get your inspiration from?”
“Well,” I said. “I’m inspired by what’s happened in my life, I guess.”
“Um-hm. Have you ever used real-life events in your writing?”
I wrinkled my brow. “Um, all the time? My book is about my life. It’s nonfiction.”
The interviewer paused and seemed caught off guard. “Um, it is?” I suspected that he hadn’t read the book or even researched it before the interview. “Oh,” he said. I was suddenly annoyed and disenchanted and the interview quickly soured.
Your Boyfriend and Other Guys I’ve Kissed is nonfiction. The stories are true. I’ve changed names to protect people’s identities. In some cases, I’ve combined certain people simply to tighten the stories and well, really, who’d be able to read a book with forty five different characters?
It’s been asked if boyfriends and friends take umbrage with appearing in my book. If they have, no one has said anything to me. No one except Adam, that is. In the book, I recount how Adam hid the fact that he was HIV positive while we dated. Of course, Adam is not his real name. Still, a couple of months after the book was published, Adam emailed me on Facebook.
I wondered if Adam was the culprit who wrote FICTION across my face, but then I remembered that he didn’t live in Atlanta anymore. And then my stomach gurgles and flipped and I remember I had to poop.
To Be Continued…