Tonight something magical happened. I went to Iftar, the evening meal Muslims eat to break their daily fasts during Ramadan. Feeling exhausted after a busy day, I told my mother I wasn't in a gregarious mood and asked her not to volunteer me to tell any stories to the group, as she usually does. Obeying this wish was apparently against her nature because my mother feels it's her duty to goad me into telling stories whenever there is a listener in the room. If I say no I seem grouchy, so I usually just have to play along.
Well, for once I'm glad she prodded me to tell a story I didn't want to tell. Why, you ask, was I so against telling the story to begin with? Well, for one, all I could think about was getting into bed and falling asleep to the new Muppet movie. And what's worse, she wanted me to describe the book I'm writing. Exposing my creative process makes me feel vulnerable, but nevertheless, I described my book, which is based on a true story.The book tells the story of an enduring friendship between two women bearing the same name, but one bearing the burden of a horrific past as an Auschwitz survivor. One of the women is my friend, whom I'd spent most of this afternoon with trying to gather more information. The other, older woman passed away before I ever learned about her. I'd been feeling frustrated that I didn't know more about her.
But as I reluctantly described my project to a woman at our table, she seemed to recognize the story. It turns out this person actually knew the woman I'm writing about. And she offered to share her memories and to put me in touch with other people who knew the woman personally.
So just this once, being social against my will produced a delightful and magical result. Now if you'll pardon my bad manners, I really must bail on this blog entry. The Muppet movie awaits.