Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Our poor people

When Eva Kokopeli, our May visiting writer, was here less than a week there was a mournful conversation in Cyberpunk's kitchen. "I think we want them to make it, but just barely. I don't know. It took me a month to kill him. Even though I knew it had to happen."

We were talking about our characters, the ones we hurt. We try to kill them, to drive them insane, to give them just a little more than they can handle every time, until they either become gods or crumble into nothing. One question is, how sick do we have to be to toy with (imaginary(?)) people this way?

Last Tuesday Eva got on stage at Fleeting Pages and read a story about just that. The story of a character who's author could not kill or drive him mad no matter how she tried. Instead the character began to drive the author insane. He drew her from he invulnerability, compelled her into her own story, where she was converted to a mortal form, subject to his opinion, and scorn.

Perhaps Eva's story was so satisfying to me is because as I writer I often feel guilty. We were not bred to be gods, and when we wrong each other we have a (sometimes small) desire to be held accountable. The more we love the people we hurt, the more we wish they would hurt us back. Like a cheating husband, who secretly wishes his wife would beat him or cut him in his sleep.

And of course, what's really weird is that in the end these characters are part of our own. We invest our identities into them and then torture them, find out what ways we might break ourselves, and finally feel guilty. We're guilty for hurting ourselves? Is that the logical conclusion to this?

I don't think so....

Something to think about, until (if (?)) Eva's full story is available to the public.

-dan (what's up with these parentheses (?))

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