It’s because last night I was found out. And I wish to warn others of my trespasses. Call this penance. Hail Mary. Let’s eat.
But seriously. Last night during a meeting of Tel Aviv freelance writers – I organize monthly get-togethers – I casually mentioned to a friend: That’s my neighbor and motioned towards the woman across the table who is, indeed, my neighbor.
Someone seated beside my neighbor who reads this blog overheard and loudly asked: Is this the neighbor you wrote about in your blog?!
And as a matter of fact it was and as a matter of fact I countered the extreme awkwardness of the moment with a casual brush-off: Yeah, I wrote about the worms, hahahaha! I said turning to my neighbor as if we shared some secret pact. (I also wrote about the cockroach but kept it mum).
What did you write? I want to see it! pressed my very embarrassed neighbor who was aware she was in the company of strangers who knew about her life.
Oh I’ll tell you on the way home, I remarked casually (bluff bluff bluff).
And en route home, I fudged a little and softened here and there and promised to send her a copy of the copy. I didn’t tell her it was on my blog because I don’t think she’s familiar with blogs. Or at least not mine. Yet.
The crux: I messed up. Because I like my neighbor but I wrote about her and embarrassed her. Yeah she’s a touch hysterical; she’ll readily admit to that. But she’s kind. She let me borrow her chairs when I had guests for dinner, she offered to care for my cat whenever I go away and she came to last night’s meeting to support me although she’s not a writer.
The lesson: DON’T write potentially hurtful material about someone you care about unless you can disguise their persona. I got out unscathed this time but next time…??
Jerry, you taking notes and putting in a good word on my behalf?
Hail Mary, Hail Mary, Hail Mary…pass the peas, please.