Friday, September 11, 2009

Secrets of the Rich and Poor

The Molly story is definitely the arrival of you back on the plateau or the mesa, having overrun it like Wile E. Coyote some years back and spiraling downward to the ground below.  Thus you were beginning to form an affinity for said Mr. Coyote, seeing in him many of your own qualities and traits.  The Molly story is, appropriately enough, about a character who has become your alter ego, your fictional self.  The story is also an absurdist vision.  Who among us would think to begin a story with the character goal of stealing the dog of a close friend, then proceeding to raise the dog as his own?  You could say the conceit was a satire on those unhinged ladies who risked stealing someone else's child in order to raise it and, thus, have one of her own.  You are far enough along the path of self-knowledge to recognize that this interpretation never once ocurred to you.

Most of your stories since "Molly" have involved animals, particularly dogs, but in some cases cats, perhaps reaching full-out thematic force with the story of an actor who discovers he is being tolerated among a group of friends not because of who he is but because of his dog.  True enough, there is the story of someone who, more or less, you fear you might, if not careful, become, a man who is turned away at the animal shelter, after having picked a cat to adopt, that he is not a cat person.  Bureaucratic and societal themes play out for you as absurdities; individuals who recognize in themselves the disposition of a loner, then wish to take some step forth to close the gap of being a loner, are often your principals, and now you are toying with yet another notion that intrigues you, the same alter ego you from "Molly" finding himself in a managed living circumstance, perhaps the nearby Casa Dorinda, being engaged as an investigator by clients who are also residents there.  Because the grounds of Casa Dorinda are so sumptuous and the costs and maintenance fees so extraordinary, the irony of such titles as The Secrets of Casa Dorinda resides within you and would need some building and dimension to have meaning to anyone else, but nevertheless, there it is, in effect wagging its metaphorical tail at you:  What secrets could the very wealthy have that would be of any interest?  

The answer is all too clear:  Where ever they reside, secrets are sources of intrigue and curiosity.  The secrets of the wealthy are every bit as human in quality and implication as the secrets of the very poor, and thus how about a humble, perhaps even illegal alien, worker, a maid or gardener, approaching your protagonist investigator with a Case, which he or she is willing to pay for, of course, not wanting something for nothing, then digging into a wallet or pocket to extract five rumpled hundred-dollar bills as a retainer.  Secrets.  Investigate the landscape in which my secrets are buried.

The mystery or suspense novel has long been simultaneously my magnet and gravamen.  Like someone out in the cold too long, I huddle over the suspense novel, palms extended to catch the warmth.

Keep thinking absurdity, absurdity.  Then feel it all about you.

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