Saturday, December 13, 2008

They say to write about what you know.

If I were to write about a circle of friends, the characters would include:

  • A 20-year old boy who has a vasectomy so he can have sex without worrying about adding to the world’s population.

  • A 29-year old woman who moves in with the 20-year old for a very passionate relationship that they agree up front to end within a year. The 20-year old is a huge fan of Ghandi and waxes poetically about world peace…but his relationship with the woman ends when he joins the US military to become a special operations sniper. He still espouses to not believe in governments or bureaucracy and will not participate in electing the commander-in chief. (Great personal conflict for a protagonist, eh?)

  • A married woman whose husband she talks a lot about, but no one ever sees. She contemplates going to school for a few years in a state other than where he lives. They end up living in separate countries while he works for the military and she stays at home attending peace rallies. (Hmmm…more great conflict.)

  • A married couple whose wife brings sex into every conversation and rails with deep bitterness against religion. The husband tries to do what Jesus would do. He speaks strongly of peace and how he believes Jesus would be against war; he says that war is evil. His day job? A recruiter for the US military. (Is there a theme developing here?)

  • A professor who is best friends with the woman whose husband she talks about but is never there. The prof works at and builds this relationship. Then, suddenly and completely, the professor ends the relationship with her. He says that he never wants to talk with or see her again. She does not know why.

  • A 27-year old man who works at and builds a relationship with another man. Then, suddenly and completely, he ends the relationship saying that he never wants to see or speak with him again. He is friends with the professor.

  • The 27-year old is a poster boy of gay stereotypes (he loves musicals, he is immaculately groomed, he does not like professional sports, he would rather sip tea or coffee with friends, he has never had sex with a woman, he obsessively cleans his home). He dates a woman for over 9 months before introducing her to the circle of friends.


  • The military recruiter says that he does not like drama. (Which adds another layer of literary intrigue because he and his wife concoct the most elaborate and dramatic interpretations of situations and other people). He might be right in some way. I am glad not to have this cast of characters so central to my life now. It was much more drama than the return I got from it.

    But maybe I will write that book.

    1 comment:

    Eric said...

    That's a pretty compelling cast of characters. I think you should add the monk experiences as well, though. I thought those stories were utterly fascinating.

    I was just reading an article in this week's Newsweek edition (which is a great issue by the way - the cover is a Bible with a rainbow flag marker ribbon, talking about the Biblical case FOR gay marriage) about a lesbian couple who got married in Vermont, had a child through IVF, divorced a couple years later, and settled like a typical family - visitation rights and child support. And then the mom with the child found religion, became a strict Baptist at one of Jerry Falwell's churches, and decided to renounce "the sin of homosexuality." She's gone all the way to the Virginia Supreme Court to try to get sole custody and has had powerful religious-right attorneys, but still lost (miraculously), and now is in contempt of the court ruling. It's a fascinating and heart-rending tale.

    Aside from thing like Harry Potter and Twilight, real life does give us characters that are every bit as interesting as those inhabiting literature.