Please welcome today’s guest writer, Kyric Koning. “My name is Kyric, pronounced similar to “lyric,” but with a k start and the y masquerading under i’s name. Names are important as they tell you a great deal about a person. Mine was made up. Take it as you will.
My brothers called me Beastrat because I bit them excessively. My first real lover has yet to call me. I have been called The Kamikaze, Hylac, and Mr. Sassy Hobbits. I have been called the Crimson Shadow, the Faceless Man, and the Hermit Sage—but only by myself. Some people call me…Tim. Some people call me Maurice. Some people call me even less savory things. Some things I am called I shall not utter here.
I graduated from Calvin in 2013, of comparable age and time to my peers. I mastered in English, and less mastered the classical studies and writing. Wayward Grandville, Michigan marks my current residency. I have stolen counting toys from children’s classrooms. I have burned myself multiple times on multiple grills. I have spent the night with Marcus Junius Brutus and left with both my sanity and my life. I run paths by moonlight that others do not have to because they have vehicles. I have talked to God, unrequitedly loved women, and written stories that make my readers weep—when they get around to reading them and I writing them.
You may have heard of me.”
Know what I want? Okay, one of the things I want? A memiography.
Don’t let my word-smithing dismay you. The suffix “-graphy” denotes a process or form of drawing, writing, recording, describing, etc., or an art/science concerned with such a process. “Memio” melds the Greek words “bios,” or life, and “mnēmonikos” (and its later cognates “memoria” and “mémoire”), relating to memory. Thus, a memiography is the description of a person’s life as recounted from the memories of another. It takes the facts of a biography, but adds the intimacy of a memoir—and the personality. Not recitation or regurgitation, but narration in all its quirks and flaws.
How about an example. But first, some backstory required.
During my senior year at Calvin, I decided to go to Greece for Interim. Before the trip, a mandatory introductory meeting occurred. On this day, industrious, multi-tasker me decided to get my desktop computer cleaned from a virus before proceeding to the meeting. Confident in ITs ability, yet a perpetual planner of contingencies, I alerted the professor heading the trip that I might be late to the meeting for reasons previous. He assured me it was ok, so I continued my errand.
For some reason, IT made me stay with my computer and, as feared, I showed up thirty minutes late to my meeting…on the fourth floor of Hiemenga. After running up the stairs, computer tower tight under my arm, I burst into the room, puffing and disheveled. The teacher smiled, nodded at me, and returned to his lecture. I slunk to the closest seat and tried to remain as inconspicuous as possible.
A few weeks later, I and one other participant are standing on the roof of one ferry, leisurely crossing one of the seas, enjoying wind, view, and calm.
“You know,” she says, “when we first met, I thought you were the coolest person.”
“Me?” I cough/laugh.
“You arrived late, but the professor wasn’t even bothered. You two acted like best buds. I thought that was so cool.”
I stared at her. Cool? Me? The scrawny, pasty guy, red in the face, hair all over the place, panting like an out-of-shape marathoner, computer tower under his arm? Who gave some weak smile, some muttered garble, then cowed in a corner? Who had literally met the professor that morning for three minutes? Cool? Buds? Me? Inconceivable! Yet to her, I was.
Such an account would be one of many in my memiography. Alongside it would be the tale of my highschool classmates after they discovered I had gone missing in D.C., every blossoming step of a crush an associate of mine had for me that I was oblivious to until she introduced me to her boyfriend, and what went through my brother’s head as I pummeled him for beating me in a video game and whether that created an incurable rift between us.
These and other stories are the ones I long to hear, but lack the heart to ask. It is an exceptionally selfish thing, to know without having to give anything in return. Yet I will never stop wanting. How inherently human.
So why a memiography?
Because it’s so human. Ceaselessly curious yet stringently surreptitious. Wealthily wise yet grievously gluttonous. Impeccably imperfect yet adamantly ameliorating. All of it demanding our thoughts, feelings, and lives then translating that to our actions. All of it coloring the people with whom we interact in a full spectrum of hues. All of it, wrapped in and around a collective story.
Because I love stories. A memiography, at its heart, is a story. A story where I am a part of something and apart. A story that allows me to step out of my role as narrator and protagonist and see myself through the eyes of someone else. To play a supporting role, an antagonistic role, a role unimaginable. To be known, not as how I know myself, but with the unique, unpredictable thoughts of another. To share beginnings and endings, life, itself the story, with another and perhaps perceive an evanescent or amaranthine sliver of what that entails.
Because it paradoxically isn’t meant to last whilst being built with things we strive to retain. Our dreams, fears, wants, struggles. It is not a legacy, a recounting of deeds done for praise, posterity, or penalization. It is a conversation, a moment to sympathize, enjoy, and remember. It is inescapable, intrinsic, and inviting.
I can’t be the only one who wanted to know others’ thoughts about them. The stories locked away, whatever they are, waiting to be told. The invisible bonds interwoven between everyone that suddenly flare with life as the words unfold. Pieces of them, waiting to be plucked, to sing together with your own pieces in unfathomable chord.
Memiographies want to be known.