When we write our lives, beginning with those first blurry-eyed days, those wordless months of yearning, are we writing what we want to be true of them instead of what actually was?
The human experience is mediated by perspective. What we haven't observed and ruled upon we fill in with our imagination or the imagination of storytellers: our families, teachers, authors, journalists, religious leaders, politicians. Our entire existence is the lived stories we've been told or are telling.
I can erase you with a word, make a world of Mad Libs in which you are blank spaces to be filled by any absurd noun I can think of. I hate the word palimpsest, but how appropriate it is for what happens to me when I live in someone else's pen. How appropriate it is for what happens to me when I live in the biased words of one estranged parent about the other.
We all know that who speaks is as important as what is spoken.