I’m Rabbit Holing this morning and cannot stop. A story set in Savannah Georgia has to have landmarks and street names, and even real places, so I do a search for Savannah and then start mapping. But then I need Civil War dates, and I need historical figures, and battle names and it is on.
I grew up one hundred years after the Civil War was fought, and the south not only lost the war, but was left in a state of economic ruin, which is what you get when five percent of a region holds ninety-five percent of the wealth. There’s a lot to unpack in that last sentence, but that’s another discussion for another day. That’s a very large, and very deep, Rabbit Hole.
There’s no real reason for this story to be historically accurate. The part that occurs in Savannah is a chapter or two. There is no reason for this sort of detail, except I want it. I want to put the scene in a bar where a band is playing to feel like it is in Savannah, no not way back when, but today, yet with the past hanging over the older people there, like it does me sometimes.
I was a kid when George Wallace was shot, and some people thought it was a sign of the Apocalypse. Yeah, but they thought that about bar codes, too, small group of people, so there is that.
But now I’m wondering if I ought to take a trip, or three, to Savannah, and find a local bar somewhere, meet some strange people, and set the story right there. I know people in that town, and perhaps that the way to do this, truly, but at the same time, something suggests that going solo would be better.
There is danger, real danger, is having even a chapter set in a place that is a floating island of history. If you get there, you might have to stay there, write more about it, and then suddenly the scene is the story, and all is lost, or all is found, it all depends on how it’s written.
Better, now that I think of it, to write a little, leave something dangling for one of the characters to return to, years later, or perhaps the daughter of one of the characters, returning to find the path her mother made into music.
See? See how easily one hole opens and none of the others close?
There’s a feeling I get sometimes, all of this is necessary, essential even, a story has to have more that wasn’t written than was. A reader who is really into the tale will feel it, will see the Rabbit Hole open, want to follow it, seek out my desires to go elsewhere, but return to the path, sensing the depths of the story untold.
One of the reoccurring Dreamscapes is a building built on a slight rise, so the sidewalk in front of it would be great for skateboarding if concrete wasn’t broken up and cracked so badly. An awning once stood over the length of the sidewalk, but it’s missing in places. The flagpole stands naked. Why the building was abandoned, I have no idea, but the grounds have been kept somewhat, yet it’s deserted, mournful and empty.
More than once in my life, and often in my dreams, I’ve looked at a house or a structure and wondered what the designer had in mind, or if they were just making it up as they went along. Of course, all the Dreamscapes come from my mind, and I wonder what it says about me that this building exists in the form it’s taken.
Early in my career in transportation construction, there was a program that would give each congressional district X number of feet of roads to be resurfaced. These were not highway projects, but meant to be doled out to poor counties and small towns, and usually it amounted to resurfacing a street four of five hundred feet long, in a town with a few hundred citizens. Over the years, I paved roads in dozens of little towns and out in the middle of nowhere county roads, and I swear that building exists somewhere out there.
Life is stranger than fiction. Damascus Georgia, a small town, even for small towns, is the place I began writing, even though I was only there for a few hours. The building in the Dreamscape is possibly larger than the town of Damascus, yet somehow, the two locations, one in south Georgia and the other existing, possibly, only in my mind. I keep thinking I will go back to Damascus, to see if what I remember is still there, but it’s been over thirty years now, and it is possible reality doesn’t exist the way I remember it, for it rarely does.
That would make sense. The original name of Damascus was Kestler. I’m Rabbit Holing now, predawn, coffee setting in, mind bouncing around like a kid out in the rain, following each scrap of information like a Holy Grail. I’ve looked at Google Map shots, tried to find the street, think I might have, but it has been thirty years.
Having no basis in reality, how accurate is a Dreamscape each time it’s visited? Created wholly by the mind, is the mind readily accepting each new version as an exact replica of the last, and the first? Unless a dreamer was to draw a map of the building, each detailed defined, is each dream a newer representation of the same feeling of the building? Is the flagpole a new detail, yet my mind convinced it was there the last time?
There’s no way to tell when the mind is telling you’re the truth, because you are the mind.
Nothing we sense as the truth is totally real, or totally not real. We’re seventy percent water by volume, and if we could get that proportion of reality out of our daily lives, or our dreams, we would be, I think, never aware of it.
Remember when you were a little kid, maybe five years old, and you were watching something on the television? For whatever reason you liked it, you really liked it, but you didn’t have the same concept of time you do right now. A half hour in front of a television when you were a kid seemed to last longer, because you hadn’t developed a sense of time the way you would later in life.
At five, you’re not thinking about everything you have to do, a job, school, death, bills, alcohol, or any number of things that will invade your thoughts later in life.
Later in life, your thoughts will be crowded by much different issues, depending on what’s going on.
Even at the age of ten, you are still a kid, but now there are team sports, you’re beginning to notice other people as a gender, as a function as attraction, your ability to read has evolved, you’ve done things, illicit acts, your parents would worry if they found out, you realize life is more complicated than it seemed five years ago, and five years ago seems to be a long, long, time.
But then at twenty, ten years seems to be a long time, and at forty, if you’ve been married for five years at that point, it may, or it may not, seem to have lasted forever.
But then at fifty, see how I jumped there, because the older you get the shorter ten years can be, but now a half hour show is short, and how television is used, movies, binging, DVDs, series, makes the experience so much different.
Your memories, what actually happened, never really did. Yes, of course your dog died when you were five, and it hurt. But each year that memory is changed by who you’ve become, and who you once were is gone, and so is a vital ingredient of that memory. The person you are has no idea who you were because you have no mechanism to feel that change. All you have is memory, and because you cannot remember a password you reset an hour ago, you know memory is flawed.
And this all gets much worse.
You were sad your dog died and you still are sad when you remember the event. That tells you all you need to know. It’s the emotion of the event, not the event itself. You might not even recognize the dog if he walked up to you, but surely you would, because of photos and videos, but would you really know? It’s how you feel that creates memories, not the physical world. Do you remember the day of the week, what you were wearing, the hour of the day, the color of the shirt of the vet, a million details lost forever, added, deleted, forgotten, changed, but pain lingers, doesn’t it?
Were you five? Your sister remembers you being six. Your mother remembers it happened much earlier. If you have photos or a video, you have a touchstone, something that defines the moment in a certain way, but that doesn’t mean you remember it. It simply means you have a way to identify the time.
You can’t remember an overwhelming percentage of your life, you fight hard to remember names, you have to write down passwords, and someone from your past, you know you know that person, you went to school with them, but who in the hell are they?
You don’t remember. You rarely do, actually. Yet you let what memories you do have to have you, to control how you feel, and to judge you.
Let go of the past. You really do not remember it.
Jessica Elizabeth heads into mom’s room after breakfast but Budlore Amadeus wants to go out. An odd species of weather sits over Hickory Head, directly above the stars blaze, but water droplets like rain fall from the branches of the trees, and when I turn the flashlight on the beam of light is home for thousands, maybe even millions, of tiny specks of floating water. Bud has disappeared into the wet darkness, and where he had gone, and why is wants to go there, will never be known.
The Big Dipper high in the sky, is clearly visible, but the fog hides the woods, the world quiet except for the sound of water dripping from the trees, and for thousands of years, maybe even millions of years, before humans, this sound was one of the loudest any animal might hear, other than thunderstorms.
This water, these water molecules, hydrogen and oxygen, do these individual molecules last millions of years? Could they have seen the dawning of dinosaurs, the extinction of those dominant beasts, and now watch as humans destroy themselves? Is water eternal? Are the tiny droplets I inhale in the darkness those same particles who have passed through the lungs of a T-Tex? Did a Stegosaurus, whose species died off into extinction long before the T-Rex arrived, breathe this same fog?
Budlore makes no sounds in the woods that can be heard, but he’s been out there for half an hour now, and light begins to seep into the edges of the woods, and the sky is becoming more defined. My clothes feel cooler, heavier, as they absorb the moisture in the air, that which is dry becomes wetter, that which is wet becomes drier, that which is darkness becomes lighter, that which is light becomes darker, somewhere, someone watches the sunset right now.
I hear Budlore now, running at speed, he realizes I’m on the deck, and he leaps onto the wooden boards and heads for the door. Whatever it was is no longer holds his interest, and Bud returns home again. He rubs noses with me, a greeting as older than language, touching faces, exchanging breath and moistures, and then he heads for a morning nap.
My compulsion is just as you see, to write, to put into symbols this dawn, that dogs, the water, the trees, and light of the stars, from which we are all made.
High above the cold morning are cirrocumulus or altocumulus clouds, scattered yet together, and the light coming through isn’t direct, nor is it shaded. It’s the same density of light we get in the summer, when the air is so thick with moisture even on a cloudless day the light is diffused and weakened. Not the heat, mind you, from May to September the heat is never weakened, not even by the deadest part of the night.
But today it is cold. The light has been diminished, not enough to really tell, unless you like photography, and you notice the light. Photography, no matter the level or purpose, is a study of light. If one wishes to do well with a lens, there must be an understanding of light, shadows, density, strength, and direction.
I step out of the truck, for the second time today, to take a photo of the sky. Dawn doesn’t demand any sort of greeting, but it’s rude not to stop and say hello, and thanks for the display.
Close to midmorning, there’s more of a mixing of the paint, a stirring of sorts, planning for some mono-colored work, perhaps, something undefined and indefinable, abstract if you will.
When you begin looking for light, looking at the light, in a different light, not for sight, but illumination in a manner of speaking, you can understand why the writers reads. It’s a study of the pattern of letters, for what purpose and method has nothing to do with words, or sentences, but again, of illumination.
The rain began in the deepest part of the morning, somewhere after midnight, and the metal of the roof announced the storm’s arrival. The wind might knock the power out, but it’s cool enough to keep things in the freezer and refrigerator from going bad for many hours, yet warm enough for the heat not to be on. At any rate, the blankets protect me from all things that are not nightmares, and the dogs snore softly.
There’s little lightning, a rumble of thunder in the distance that holds no threat, and I listen to the rain, wind swept rhythm, and hope the compost pile gets a good soaking. It’s another week yet until Solstice, and the heat of the sun will not return until March. Two cold and dark months left before I can start thinking about planting again.
Drifting between sleep and rain, dreams almost appear, nearly form, but do not. Some of the dream is of drowning, but detached, not terrifying, and in this is the realization not being afraid of drowning creates a bypass for survival instinct, but these thoughts are misty and they, too, drift.
Wrex Wyatt dreams. His legs jerk, and there are yips from deep within, so I reach out and place a hand on him, say his name, and the sleep returns to us both, unbothered by visions or memories. The rain pounds the roof and sleep comes and goes as if blown by the storm. It’s one or two, maybe three in the morning, no, not yet two, for time doesn’t exist in true darkness.
Primal and wet, the lack of light is the bottom of the ocean, where nothing is ever seen, but felt, and smelled and the sensation of the world around the skin is everything that light is two miles above the trench. What if your skin, the entirety of it as an organ, naked, and floating, was your sight, and could clearly discern a world that existed above, below, and all around you, all the time? Changes in temperature, pressure, heat, cold, the feel of chemicals released by others of your kind, the pheromones of those you were interested in, and who were interested in you, the smell of prey or predators, the feel of electricity in all things, the sensation of the life leaving an old one, their life finished, their body drifting to the very bottom to decay or be eaten, or to be buried by the currents, all of this, every moment, a full body experience.
Sight is so limited.
Yet even now, when the realization of this comes, I see a patch of sky that is less dark than before. The rain continues, lighter now, and the wind has stopped. The world is returning to light, slowly, easing into it as if she is loath to begin a day so limited by so little sight.
I’m in the middle of Ann Rule’s book, “Green River, Running Red” the topic of which is the “Green River Killer” who murdered young women in the 1980’s, in and around Seattle Washington. This is the third book I’ve read on the subject, and there is a lot to be learned about human behavior here.
The first is serial killers cannot be understood by average people. It can be explained how they murdered, where they murdered, and who they murdered, but the why of all this is a complicated and terrible issue not easily understood by even the most highly trained law enforcement people alive.
The next is serial killer do know what they are do is, at a minimum, something they can be jailed for if they get caught, which means they understand the rest of us believe what they are doing is wrong.
However, in killing prostitutes, Gary Ridgeway also understood these were people not valued as highly as other human beings were. He could, and he did, kill with near impunity, until multiple bodies surfaced, and the families of the dead women began to generate noise. Even then, even when there were multiple dead young women, bodies in various locations, even then, when money was being spent to find the killer, and no resolution was found, the task force was scaled back. Even at the cost of young women being murdered.
Ann Rule goes into much more detail of the lives of the murdered women. Most came from lower income families, further reducing their worth in American society, and invariably, most of the quotes from parents shade towards “I couldn’t stop her from doing what she wanted to do” type utterances. Jobs that were available for very young women paid very little, and some of the women preferred the life of prostitution over a minimum wage job that required long hours for little pay. In 1982, minimum wage was $3.35. A young woman working as a cashier could hope to make less than thirty dollars in an eight hour shift, but almost that much in a few minutes as a prostitute. On a good night, a week’s worth of pay could be had, and on a bad night, a woman could end up dead.
Another observation is in the books I’ve read, it’s rare to find a man who had been arrested for paying a woman for sex, and universally, all women who have been paid for sex have been arrested. A suspect early in the case was caught in bed with a sixteen year old prostitute, and he was not arrested. Another suspect admitted to having sex with underage prostitutes and was not arrested. Prostitution is a crime committed by women, not by men, in the eyes of the law, and of society.
One victim was thirteen when she began walking the streets. Another ran away from home at age fourteen, was murdered at age seventeen, but her body wasn’t identified for years because her family never reported her missing.
Finally, early in the book, “The Search for the Green River Killer” by Carlton Smith, the author notes one of the detectives, who had worked homicide for years was “shocked at the level of violence directed at women” once he started taking reports of battered prostitutes, girlfriends, wives, and just random women attacked by strangers. The hope of catching the killer by linking him to violence against women was thwarted by the sheer volume of suspects that would have been compiled.
If there is anything more aggravating, and at the same time more meditative, it’s resetting Word for the way writing should be done when I do it. New Times Roman, font size 12, double spaced between lines, margins at 1.5, and this is the way all new documents ought to look for me. This is how I write. I do not want to discuss it.
There’s a certain amount of time that should be set in preparation, in getting things ready to go, foreplay for creativity, if you will. After all, without realizing it or planning it out, you usually take a lover knowing there will be kissing, touching, the shoes have to come off, the clothes are removed, there’s a method of getting things going, but after that, it’s creativity at its finest. Afterwards, both parties lie panting, sweating, hearts beating hard, and a sense of wonder takes over, as to how those moments in time came to be. It simply is. Chorography can set the dancers in motion but the style in motion is uniquely personal, just like the motions in physical intimacy. Your body knows, mostly, what it wants, but it’s more than just putting the right pieces in the right places, oh my yes, it’s getting the exact timing down, the perfect moment for the perfect place and space.
When I was a teenager trying to get my girlfriend’s bra off her body in the front seat of a car, and back then front seats were bigger, and we were much more limber, it was a direct approach towards nudity, with the ends justifying the means for both of us. Time was scarce when you have thirty minutes before it’s time to take her home, and everything has to be done, and if it happens to be done right, that’s okay, but usually it wasn’t. Neither is writing, when one first begins to write. Both are a process.
Dancing, like sex, without a video or a camera, will be like unrecorded music. There will be the memory held inside the minds of those involved, and oh my yes, those memories will last an entire lifetime, but no more than that. Words written may or may not survive, even with publishing there is no promise of eternity. All is temporary, except in the mind, and the mind will soon begin to fail, far too soon, and all it holds will be lost.
But for now, the cup is not full, the mind still yearns, I yearn, I yearn, and there is more work to be done. The page is set, it is clean and empty, and the twenty-six letters of the alphabet will swirl and be arranged, and rearranged, until something in my mind feels a sense of completeness, and satisfaction.
Talking about writing comes in many forms. You can talk nuts and bolts, sentence structure, where the comma goes or does not, or how to write dialogue which are all needful things. Most of the new writers I meet have this vision their creativity will be enough to captivate the reader so spelling and grammar and structure be damned. This is never the case. The vehicle in which your writing flies will determine how high and how fast and how smoothly the flight.
And, regrettably in some cases, how long the flight lasts.
But there is the discussion on the philosophy of writing, on how writing should be done, and what it takes to tell a story. The person telling the story decides how, and if they are smart, they will already know how before they begin. If they try to wing it, they might be good enough to carry the tale to the end, but mostly, in writing, they must know right from the start.
A friend of mine went through a lot of text on a detective story. He began with first person, switched to third person, then back again to first person, and finally went with third person for the tale. Why? It felt right. It felt better to him as he wrote it. The process of writing, not the rules and regulation of writing, is what this is all about, mind you.
In one scene in the story, he walks into a bar, and the bartender tells him all about the history of the building. It’s a real building and the history is accurate. It isn’t a bar, but an office, but he transported it into another location and reworked it into a drinking establishment where horse racing and horse breeding people come to drink. This is where a murder takes place. The scene is important. How a writer gets that scene into the mind of a reader cannot be taught but it can be borrowed.
Think about Bilbo Baggins and his Hobbit Hole. That was his family home, Bag End, where Bilbo’s history was stored, his belongings, and his comfort. Torn away from this place was part of the opening of the story, and it defined the main character with style.
A bar, elegant and classy, where moneyed people go to talk horses, with photos of horses adorning the plain red brick walls, an antique piano on a small stage, and the massive mahogany bar, so brown it is nearly black, the perfectly clean mirror behind with shelves of bottles, each higher shelf holding a rarer version than the one below, and no prices asked or given.
The work it takes to define a location will stay with a reader. It will give them a place to relax and think about as the story evolves. You have an image of this place, and the people who go there, do you not? And I have not done it any justice.
What I have done, is given you an idea of what you must do to define, or refine, your story. Where? Where is this place? How does your characters feel about being there? That photo, in the corner, near the old corn cracking hand cranked farm tool, why was the victim standing there, staring at the photo? You have no idea, and no one has told you what or who was in the photo, and by the time the detective arrives, the photo is missing.
Is the photo a clue or a red herring?
We talked about the photo, over good beers and a chess board. Horses, of course, but a woman was in the photo, but who was she, and was she connected to the murder?
Don’t connect the dots, lead your reader to a room and allow the human mind to look around, to study the place and feel what it felt there. Your location should give you information about the characters there, and who they really are.
Your character is a woman, self assured and a good judge of character, we know this from her surroundings. We know this because of what she does for a living, where she lives and works, and we know because the other characters treat her with respect. So, does she get into the canoe with the stranger to go to the island in the lake? How big and island, how big a lake, and who is this person? All of this is important information that only you have, and to make your point, you must share it beautifully.
None of this can be found in a rule book. You can read books written by writers and find out what they’ve done, or better yet, you can read good books, lots and lots of good books, and find out how it’s done right. Or not done well at all. But reading is the best tool for learning how to write.
Mark, the man who was writing about the detective, had a problem with present a pause between two people speaking.
“Why would he have that problem?” Mike asked, as he looked around the room, searching for the waitstaff who seemed enthralled by the woman with the baby. It bothered him the child might start wailing and drown out the piano player.
“Because he had never thought about it,” Mark replied.
There you have a pause between Mike’s question and the answer to it. Mark worked it out.
This is the kind of conversations people ought to have more often about writing, instead of worrying about sentence structure, which you can learn from a book. I’ve got Fowler’s and Holt’s handbook, Strunk and White’s, of course, but none of that teaches you how to use words effectively to create a mood, or inflection. You do have to build the airplane with these tools, these rules, but the fuel can only be from your creativity.
While writing a fiction piece about the end of the world, I was interviewing women to learn how they thought they would be treated by men in a nascent civilization. Mostly, women were very pessimistic, with some flatly rejecting the idea of starting over in a site where they were outnumbered by men. Some thought being in a camp with men would be favorable to being outside a camp with no protection from men. It was clear that men would be the biggest problem women felt they would face, even if there were monsters who invaded earth that ate people.
I asked a woman who I didn’t know well at all what she thought would happen. She said once men did all the upper body strength/ he man stuff like putting up fences and farming, it could dawn on them they were in control of everything inside those fences, and women would suffer for this.
“Just like that? I asked.
“That’s the way things work now,” she replied.
She went on to explain she agreed to talk to me about the project, but only in a place where she could see other people, and be seen, because she didn’t know me. A friend referred her to me, knew she would want to speak about the subject, and we were in a downtown coffee shop.
“Have you ever taken a woman out on a first date to a really nice restaurant?” she asked me. “Not just a first date, but the first time the two of you went anywhere together alone?”
I stalled out. Surely, in my life I had, but I couldn’t remember.
“Most women will guide men away from expensive first date venues,” she told me. “That way, the man isn’t as likely to demand sex on the first date.”
I told her I didn’t think dating was like that, and she asked me if I had ever dated a man. My education, it seemed, was just beginning.
The biggest problem, she told me, is that in order to get sex from a man to whom she was attracted, she had to make sure he wasn’t going to assault her first. Which meant she had to establish some level of trust on the first date, allow a rapport to develop, and keep him at arm’s length should he turn into an octopus.
Moreover, she wasn’t on the Pill. When she went out with a guy for the first time, she had no intentions of having sex with him no matter how well things went, or how strong an attraction she developed for him. Women have created bail out calls, where if a woman is on a date and wants out, she can text a friend to come get her out. This woman went a step further by letting a gay friend come over and play video games on her widescreen. She would text him and tell him to stay or go, depending on how a date went.
So, I asked, does this mean you never had sex on a first date?
She went out with a guy she really liked, they went to a cozy little bar, then went to his place and smoked pot. She was higher than she needed to be, and knew it, and the next thing she knows, he’s pushed her over on the sofa, kissing her, and she has to make a decision fast. She can try to throw the brakes on, try to get him off of her, hope it doesn’t piss him off, and hope for the best. She was interested, just not this interested yet, but why not just go along with it? What she knows to be true, is that there is zero chance this man is ever going to be charged with raping her, unless he beats her bloody and she has war wounds to show for it, and even then, going through the process of going to the hospital for a rape kit, going through the trauma of filing a report, and waiting for a trial that might take months, assures her only that the man she is trying to put in prison knows where she lives.
She pushes back, tells him to stop, and he does, for the moment.
Now she has to extract herself from the situation without pissing him off. They are both drunk, both stoned, and she says she has to use the bathroom, which is a disaster, because she has to go through his bedroom to get there. He follows her, lays down on the bed, and she closes the bathroom door behind her, and thinks. Now what? She almost calls a friend, decides not to, thinks she might be overthinking the situation, flushes, washes her hands, and when she steps out of the bathroom, he’s on the bed, naked.
“At this point,” she tells me, “it’s fight or fuck, and after I lose the fight I’m fucked anyway.”
A few hours later, after three or four sessions of unprotected sex, his urgency and buzz wears off, and he drives her home. The next morning, she hits the pharmacy for a Morning After Pill, and is pissed at herself for getting in that situation.
“You’ve never raped a woman?” she asks, looking me in the eye.
“No, never,” I say and I’m mad she would ask.
“You’ve never taken a drunk woman back to your apartment, started trying to fuck her, and not thought for a moment that she might be afraid to say no to you?” The question is one open to interpretation, and I almost say that, but I realize it sounds like I’m trying to defend myself against an accusation.
I tell her about the time a woman came home with me from a bar, like in her case, and we smoked some pot, and we were both really stoned. We started kissing, one thing led to another, but she never said stop or slow down, or no.
“Could she have walked home from your place safely? Could she have called a cab? Was there anyone close by she could have gotten to come get her? Did you have control over her means of transportation?” she asked, and I could tell this was exactly what she had gone through.
“Did you try to call her the next day, or later, and did she more or less not want to have anything else to do with you?” she demanded. This all happened long before cell phones, back in the 80’s.
I thought back to that night. It was cold, raining hard, and we were both pretty blitzed. The woman didn’t seem reluctant, or hesitant.
“Does this mean she absolutely wasn’t looking for a one night stand?” I asked and the question seemed lame for some reason.
“No, not at all, she could have very well been looking for sex. She might have had a boyfriend and not wanted to see you again for that reason. “But you had a lot more control over the situation than she. Did you ask her if she was on birth control? Did you offer to use a condom? Did you ever wonder if she was pregnant after that night? The questions were flung out at me, but she already knew the answers.
“Hey, this was decades ago,” I protested.
“Good point. Nothing has changed since what happened to that woman happened to me, Mike,” she said. “I’m not accusing you of raping her. I’m accusing you of not realizing you had power over her. In your story, if you set up a camp to restart civilization, how are you going to prevent the men from having power over the woman, and then using that power against the women. That’s the question you are asking, even if you don’t realize it.”
“Take the most extreme example. Do you think Thomas Jefferson raped Sally Heming?” she asked.
“Yes, a woman who cannot say no cannot say yes,” I replied.
“Even if she liked him, or loved him, and even wanted him, the power he held over her made it impossible for her to make up her own mind as to what to do with her body. The guy that was waiting for me to come out of the bathroom forced me to either confront him, or go along for the ride. I was young, scared, and took the easy way out. It’s not the classic knife-at-her-throat rape scene, but I didn’t feel as if I had any choice. That’s your story right there. Who decides how much power men have over women?” she stood up, to go, and I stood up, too.
“You’re on the right track, Mike, but a lot of men are going to read it complete fiction.”