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 29/09/02
speedlick: So dreamer… you’re in a wheelchair?
speedlick: Why didn’t you say anything about it before?
2dreamer: It never came up in our conversation before. Why, does it suddenly change things?
speedlick: No, I’m just glad I didn’t tell any of my handicap jokes.
spideyeyes: Sure, speed. You’re the real sensitive type. But I can see why he might not have said anything speedy.
loader_62: Why’s that?
spideyeyes: Sometimes we just don’t want to tell people things. Anyway, what’d he of said? “Hey guys, I’m 2dreamer, a balding baby boomer, and by the way I’m in a wheelchair?” A little mystery is a good thing. Did you know that his real name isn’t dreamer loader? Is loader your real name loader?
loader_62: Ok, spidey, you’re having too much fun. I think it is interesting to know you’re in a chair there, dreamer. A little personal note to add to our profiles of you. Funny you say that, though spidey, because I don’t picture dreamer as balding. Maybe short and chubby, but definitely with a full head of black hair.
speedlick: Baby boomer? C’mon spidey you’re way off. He’s definitely not in his 60’s!
2dreamer: Don’t forget the big Elvis chops and the hair lip.
speedlick: Okay, what else? What do you guys think about skin color?
spideyeyes: Latino. I bet you used to be an amazing salsa dancer.
loader_62: No way you guys. He’s black. I’d put money on it. Denzel on wheels.
speedlick: You’re all wrong. He’s definitely a red blooded Caucasian male. Trailer trash. Kid Rock, wife beaters, beer stains, big belt buckles.
spideyeyes: He? Male? You sure?
loader_62: I think so. If he isn’t now, he definitely used to be one.
speedlick: Yes. dreamer definitely has a penis.
loader_62: At least you want him to, eh speedy? Actually, I think you’re right on this one.
speedlick: So shoot man, that must mean you can’t “do it” any more?
2dreamer: It’s funny how that’s always one of the first questions I get asked. Can you still have sex?
speedlick: Well, can you? C’mon man, you can tell me.
spideyeyes: Speedy, you’re sick man, you’re really sick. Leave the guy alone.
speedlick: What? It’s a totally relevant question.
2dreamer: No worries spidey. All I’m going to say is what doctors say. Any muscle that isn’t worked will atrophy. Do you think I’d let it atrophy?
speedlick: Would anyone? See, I told you spidey!
© 2010 Andrew Kooman. All rights Reserved
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