The following is part of the back story I developed for the narrator in my short story “Mephibosheth“. Birk Sproxton, who led the creative writing class at the Red Deer College in 2002 (where said story emerged) gave us a character assignment to generate a life for the narrator and to write a story in a voice decidedly not our own.
ReWriting Chat Group 10/11/02
loader_62: Hey, are any of you out there tonight? I hope so, because I need to process a few things.
speedlick: Do it loader, you know you want to. Just go ahead and kill yourself.
2dreamer: Let me guess. Another interesting philosophy class?
loader_62: You got it. Today we were talking about the problem of evil – Mackie, Bertrand Russel, some of the big boys. There’s a nice spread of ideology in the class. A few fundamentalist Christians, a few atheists, at least one buddist, neo-hippies, and I’m somewhere in between. The gadfly. I just like to initiate conversation, play the other side. The prof asked us who believed in some idea of evil. He defines it as “any form of suffering, natural or intentional.” Then this girl just goes off citing all these nasty examples of evil because one of the neo-hippies said he believed people are inherently good. I’m ok so far. But this girl just basically snapped. She went on about Rwanda and Somalia and Afghanistan, about genocide and bank heists and OJ Simpson and the “modern holocaust of abortion,” traffic violations. You name it, she said it. Then she just burst into tears. She said we’re all just damned, damned, damned. What could we do but stare. No one said anything. We were speechless. You could hear a pin drop. I couldn’t think of anything to say.
speedlick: Was she the mormon?
loader_62: No, I think she’s a Roman Catholic, but I’m not sure.
spideyeyes: Well there you have it.
2dreamer: You know how to find out for sure, don’t you? Ask her about transubstantiation. Then you’ll know if she’s RC or not.
spideyeyes: So what’s bugging you?
loader_62: That no one had anything to say. We all just sort of sat there defeated. Now all I hear if it’s quiet is “damned, damned, damned.” I close my eyes and see her crying and its freaking me out.
speedlick: So? Put on some music and keep your eyes open. Put in a movie. Take some ephedrine.
loader_62: Thanks speedy. But I don’t think that’s gonna help.
speedlick: Earth to loader! Life sucks and then you die. So what.
2dreamer: I don’t think that’ll help either there speedy.
spideyeyes: Don’t think about it.
speedlick: Drop the class.
loader_62: I can’t. We’ve already passed the add/drop date. Anyway, I want to resolve this. I’m sure that if I think about it long enough, I’ll figure it out.
2dreamer: I’m not sure about that, loader. Thinking can be an endless void. Sometimes you just can’t figure stuff out.
loader_62: Gee, you guys are great. That’s comforting.
speedlick: See, now didn’t I tell you to just go and kill yourself?
© 2010 Andrew Kooman. All rights Reserved
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