This was a reversal of our entire relationship. I had always been the documenter, and he made guest appearances, or sometimes starred, in what I created.
… it felt somehow threatening. I had no idea what he was going to say next; I refreshed daily, in horror, waiting for that moment he would reveal a dirty secret. More frightening was that I felt he had wrested control of the narrative from me. Now he was the one telling our story. By linking to my name, making it specifically about me, it was, at least in some small way, a power move.
More than one friend wondered why I didn’t ask him to take it down. I told them all I had no right to. I had documented our relationship so extensively — and continued to in a small way after we broke up, references here and there in essays and blog posts — that it would have been totally hypocritical for me to insist that he stop. He was a visual artist and he was expressing himself, just as I expressed myself with my words. It is an obviously pretentious thing to say, but yes, he was entitled to his process.
– Phenomenal, heartbreaking, too-close-to-home “No, I’m the Narrator” essay by Jami Attenberg in Townies (which is, by the way, the best personal essay series in the New York Times right now, fuck you Modern Love).
Also check out other fantastic Townies essays by some of my favorite writers, including Doree Shafrir, Choire Sicha, Ryan O’Connell, Melissa Febos and Sloane Crosley. The two latter have contributed several essays to the series.