The truth always sets you free, eventually. ~ Billy Jean King
Yes people, the French Open is upon us, and I’ve got tennis and Billy Jean and can-Rafa-win-again on the brain.
I was on my lowly tennis court this week when a woman said, “I hear you loved WILD. My book club just read it!” I should have run for
fucking cover, yes I should have, but there I was half-naked and exposed — in my new skirt holding my old racquet — getting the lowdown on her book club’s review. Half of them loved WILD, loved it!, but the other half were worried about the veracity of WILD. Could it really have ALL been true, all the little truths in that big story? Of course I started kicking some ass making the case for WILD, for the story, for the storyteller, for the courage in telling your truths, but to what end?? When she asked about my book, my ME-moir, how it was coming, that she’d like to read it, it took everything I had not to say, “How will you know it’s not just a pack of vicious lies!”
But I digress…
In this month’s Inside Tennis, Billy Jean King talks about going public with her sexuality. She told her handlers, her agent: I want to have a press conference, and I’m going to tell the truth. They said, You cannot do that. No one’s ever done that. She said, I don’t care what people have done before. I have to tell the truth. The truth always sets you free, eventually. I did lose all my money overnight, in 24 hours, every single endorsement I had … but it’s okay. You just start over. Everyone has to decide when they’re ready to do something, each human being.”
I recall Salman Rushie saying, When I write fiction, all you want to know is how much of it really happened to me. When I write nonfiction, you want to know how much I made up. I can’t win.
Why is it so hard to believe someone is telling you the truth?