Chapters are very important to storytelling. They help move the story along. Chapters are little more than story within a story. They may not have all fancy terms that the novel has but they shouldn’t. A novel for example has a protagonist, antagonist, a plot and accompanying plot points , a setting, a theme, and a character or many character. A chapter only has the final three.
Traditional authors, of both fiction and nonfiction, have the advantage that they know where their story will start and where it will end. It makes it easier to divide a story into chapters. This is not a traditional story though and I was not sure where in exactly this chapter needed to end. Events are dictated by what actually occurs. It is constrained by job interviews, apartment searches, dealing with things that need to be dealt with and most importantly the usual procrastination that is a big part of the joy of being a writer. Fortunately life got bored with this chapter and provided me an ending.
I was walking down the street with a bag full groceries, my mind was fully focused on quite possibly the biggest and most important question it had faced in two years. Should I eat the chicken wings before the start of shark week or should I eat the microwave pizza? Shark Week is important to me and I took the rare step of spending more than six dollars for dinner to celebrate it. I was quite happy because all the pressing problems in my life centered around Shark Week for the past twenty four hours my life was , for a little bit, normal again.
I was most of the way back to the motel when a big man stepped out in front of me and demanded to know if I had any ID. I thought this was strange for cop to ask for , for no particular reason.
I thought it even stranger for a man who was not, quite obviously , a cop. He was equally as obviously around my age so it was not booze he needed and looked like the type of person who was not unaccustomed to stepping out of a shadow and getting what he wanted.
“No, I am not from around here , I don’t have any ID” the sentence itself did not make any sense but sufficed to buy me enough time to start walking very quickly towards the Taco Bell at the end of the street. He was following me and made it made me uncomfortable. I was terribly confused why a big non-policeman would ask me for my ID . When I looked around, to see if he was still following me I saw a pharmacy across from where he had first asked me for my ID.
“ Cool !”I lied to myself “a guy wanted me to buy cough syrup for him so he could make meth. Awesome.”
There was a message in this and it was loud and clear. The place I am in, spiritually and physically is no longer a safe place to be. I was running into more people who stank so bad of alcohol that I could smell them half a block away. I was being approached by more people who were not speaking any known language in the past week than I had in my entire life. That homeless skipping lady, might not have been the good sign I had made her out to be.
I needed to get moving. I needed to leave this town with its nice farmer market on Saturday, its friendly non crazy people and its view of Mt. Renier . This city had outlived its usefulness and was now turning on me. This chapter of my life and this chapter of the book were at an end. A new chapter for both needs to be written.
Canada, a country where beer runs in river beds; an tauntauns crowd the street bringing families and business men around the cities and country side seems likely to be the place I need to sojourn next. Getting on a plane to Cambodia is becoming an increasingly unlikely occurrence. Such an easy thing to do, has become much more difficult than I possibly imagined.
There is one more thing I need to do before I can move on. I need to pack and that means I need to make choices on what I will bring and what I need to leave back. That means I need to think.