This is the only story that was published from a whole series of similar stories I was writing right after I saw Darjeeling Limited and wanted to be Jason Schwarzman's character. I loved how he took the painful stories of his life and made art out of them, and I wondered if I could do the same.
So this story has elements of truth in it. The girl in the story is patterned after two real girls in my life. One of the girls I met in college, her name is Jessica Lyndsay and she was a beautiful writer I had a crush on who was totally out of my league. I would flirt with her at the coffee shop where she worked and talk about writing. We decided to get together and discuss writing more in depth. And this is where the bulk of the material for this story came from.
I am tempted to say which parts of the story are true and which are fabricated. But that seems to be taking the magic out of it.
I was definitely interested in taking the metaphor of the mirror, which seems like a cliché, and trying to alter it. To keep turning it in a way that it might become fresh. I don't know if I was successful in that or not.
The idea of collecting mirrors was something I actually had and wanted to do. But this came later. I never ended up doing it.
The second girl informed the Jeanne Moreau references. She once told me that I was a mirror of her.
I have always been better at writing heartrending stories that heartwarming ones. They are more interesting to me. Stories need conflict, supposedly, and unrequited love is a fairly surface-level trope that can represent other unfulfilled desires of the heart. This conflict of wanting something that is unattainable will repeat itself in almost all of my stories. You figure out what that means.
I feel there are complicated things happening with the projection of self and destruction of self in this story, that it would be unfair of me to totally unpack here. It is part of why I enjoy writing stories, to kind of hide truths. It is my hope that the reader will unpack them.