You Don’t Know Me

Ben Folds with Regina Spektor:

After all these years, one of the things that still surprises me is that readers think they know who I am. I mean, don’t get me wrong, you know a lot about me (in some cases, far too much), but you really don’t know me the way you think you do.

It only stands to reason, of course. There are, after all, long-married couples who suddenly one day look at each other and say in horror, “Who are you? I really don’t know you at all!”

That sort of shock always comes from strategic omissions. I leave out a lot, you’d be surprised. I don’t really talk about my personal life anymore (that is, the important people in it), except in passing. It’s too weird, and it’s not fair to them. It was a lot easier to dump it all when I only had 150 readers, and none of them were people I actually knew.

And besides, the appearance of full disclosure is, in itself, a red herring. A writer’s device, as it were.

Now, some people who actually know me read my blog instead of calling me or seeing me. When they do finally get around to calling me, I fill them in on my life and they yawn. “Oh yeah, I already knew that, I read it on your blog.”

So that annoys me, and just for spite, I also make sure I never write about the juicy stuff. If you want it, you have to call. (See? You probably didn’t know I could be that spiteful AND thoughtful at the same time!)

Anyway, anything you read here is only an approximation of reality. I can’t help it, I’m a writer. You can’t trust us. The most you’ll ever get from us is our version.

5 thoughts on “You Don’t Know Me

  1. This post brings to mind a memoir I read a few years ago — Unreliable Truth on Memoir and Memory by Maureen Murdock.

    Nicely written. Now, go back to your vacation.

  2. Forgot to add that Murdock writes about the narrative stance and unreliable narrators. The Martin Turner essay was good.

  3. “Know” you??? Are you kidding us, Suze, or what? The “knowing” that your blog allows is about enough “knowing” for me. I’ve spent a great deal of time throughout my life trying to “know” myself, let alone really “knowing” the heart/soul/and spirit of others; shit, it’s a lot of work, to tell the truth about it. So, have fun kayaking if that’s what you’re doing while on vacation. Then again, wtf do I “know”, you could be chilling out with some dude right next door to me here in Atlanta, in so far as I “know”!

  4. (blinking) I never thought any different. Not for a moment. But, then it’s the same on this side too. You don’t know me either.

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