But there are different kinds of truth. Patrick gave an example of a situation that had happened, but at another time. I'd like to give an example of something that happened that had a different meaning for me than for the character I attribute it to.
This is an interaction that happened between my dad and me. Nearly exactly. But it didn't mean for us what I use it to mean for Riley- which is to illuminate her strained relationship with her father. When it happened in my life, I thought two things:
- That was hilarious
- That would be a great scene in the book I'm writing
At Applebee’s the silence was unavoidable. My father looked past me at a muted basketball game. He had a gash across his right eyebrow; the blood had dried thick and almost black. A bruise disappeared beneath his navy blue crew neck, presumably where the seatbelt had caught him at the shoulder, keeping him in one piece.-Monsoon Season
He looked at me across the table. It occurred to me it might have been the first time he’d looked right at me the entire day. And then I realized he wasn’t looking at me at all. I’d thought he was making eye contact when really he was peering at a spot somewhere between my eyes. He was squinting, frowning.‘You’ve got a little something . . .’ he said, his voice trailing off. He touched the bridge of his nose to indicate where.‘Oh,’ I said, startled, sitting up straighter. I dipped the corner of a paper napkin into my ice water. I dabbed at my nose where he had suggested.He shook his head. It hadn’t worked. I held up the silver napkin dispenser to look at my reflection. It took me a moment to see what he saw.It was a freckle. It had been there my whole life.I looked up at him. He was reading the menu.