I’m the kind of woman who begins to read many books, sometimes more than one at a time, and then never finishes them. I’ve consumed the beginnings, and sometimes the middles, of more novels than I can count, but the ends seem to always be lacking, or aren’t to my taste, and so I never read them.
I’m distracted, true, but leaving the story open-ended is something of a novelty, enjoyable in its own right. To not know what happens is to be able to write the end for myself.
I’ve entered a chapter of my own life I’m going to call “The Weird Chapter,” in which my own story seems to have done some looping and rewording of its own and I, as the protagonist and probable heroine, am merely a character in this book, bound hopelessly to the text as it is being created, following the words, the story arc, the plot details at a fervent, relentless pace. I’m blind to the next page, running through sentences and structure but finding neither for myself.
The main characters of this self-titled “Weird Chapter” are myself and Cat-Carlos, sometimes addressed as Boobs or Chicken Nugget, who in actuality should just be renamed No on account of how much the word is directed at his curious creature self.
He is my animal companion, the constant and trustworthy yet fallible creature sent with me on my adventures, and although he stays locked into the room I now temporarily call home, there are times when he is let out, usually as far as the hall, and will follow me, only to sit curled into a black cat ball of fur and watch me intently as I wash my face or apply makeup in the bathroom mirror. He’s ever watchful, wary of intrusion and desperate for things he’s not seen before.
He’s currently in a dresser drawer, having attained that height by stepping carefully from the bed to a suitcase oddly situated in the middle of the floor and then leaping from there to the neglected drawer, left open by its user (me). He’s sitting on a stack of clean, hairless clothes, which won’t be hair-free for long, a task he finds quite to his liking.
Other characters go in and out. Of course there’s Mom and Dad, the two figures never present at the same time but always present in some form, whose authority overlaps but is inconstant and no longer legally binding. The girlfriend, whose house I reside in and must seem to her merely a shadow who slips in during the night and sleeps the morning away. Sometimes there is no sleeping at all. This chapter involves a lot of living and not very much rest.
This is the action chapter, hopefully, the chapter in which the heroine (me, obviously) comes to certain realizations about herself and her world and ultimately her life and fate and then attempts to fight them, or go along with them, or do whatever she might do with them in order to survive to continue on to the next chapter.
But this chapter stretches on.
There is the past, so intertwined with the present it’s hard to remember that we’re in the weird chapter and not staring down the high school chapters, those unruly things, or the odd moments of college that left me confused and the readers baffled and sometimes rightly alarmed.
But this chapter has a lighter feel to it, even though it is arguably the most muddled and oddly contrived bit of the whole piece. It radiates the inner beauty that may have been ever present but is slowly starting to seep out, it radiates confidence and joy, both feelings flowing around it and through it but having no specific origination point.
And on a side note, the heroine has realized that sometimes what the people in her chapters seem is the complete opposite view of what the reader may perceive. She’s truly blind. Perhaps the narrator should start suggesting the future with a better bit of foreshadowing? Or perhaps wouldn’t mind writing in some dialogue or thoughts for the heroine that she might consider to take seriously? As this chapter began, there was the law and now there is the reminder. Not of the law, that’s been left behind, for every character has their own subplots in which they are engaged.
The reminder is the memory, brought back to life, resurrected in its own right, which now stands fully formed and present. So perhaps it shall need redefinition, as it now occupies a newer, brighter, clearer segment of the book of Life (ah, for lack of words). The heroine is finding herself engaged in dialogue, quick and comfortable, and memories, reminders, those foolish emotions that come along with everything that is now. Entirely enamored, she can’t feel except for what she’s feeling now, there truly are no time for those silly consequences. We can find those later, we’ll hash through them in some upcoming chapter full of thought but hopefully lacking regret.
For now, there is the memory, growing stronger daily and the possibility, which drives our narrator to keep creating and pressing time into the pages.
This is how the weird chapter is progressing. Ever onward, flying, as the reader and the heroine attempt to keep up with the breakneck pace of the author’s work, but momentous in each daily evolution. Momentous is a horrid word to describe this chapter. Perhaps we shall go with quixotic. Yes, that.
Quixotic, dear readers, is the weirdest chapter yet.