Tuesday, June 20, 2006

All Tomorrow's Donnas

It's not necessarily easier for me to write a character that's based on a specific person. People are complex machines, built from genetics and a lifetime of experiences. It's more of a challenge to capture the essence of someone in the broad strokes. So, most (most) of the characters I write are not based on any ONE person. They're usually composites of various people, including myself.

That being understood, in one of my internet trolling sessions at work, I stumbled onto a person who was the partial inspiration for the character of "Donna Sweetheart" in "The Butcherhouse Chronicles". I'd been reading this girl's blog for months without realizing that I'd gone to high school with her. She's one of the rare female cab drivers in this city. It's kind of weird to imagine that "Donna Sweetheart" grows up to become a taxi driver.

Back up. Like I was trying to explain, this girl was NOT "Donna". I remember her being this sorta grungy girl who was really loud. I had a Biology class and an English class with her. I don't have any memory of ever talking to her directly. (I barely spoke to anyone in high school.) But I thought she was gorgeous. Thankfully, I never acted on this crush because I hate to imagine what she would have said to me at the time. I was this ghost of a person in high school and she was this loud-mouthed girl who I just thought was unbelievably fascinating.

I'm not into writing autobiographical work. That's what blogs are for. (And masturbatory performance groups.) In college, I tried writing a straight autobiographical script and it was a steaming pile of dookie. "The Butcherhouse" isn't an autobiographical work. But it comes from a specific place and a time and an experience. In a strange way, it may be one of my most personal and honest works. I find I need to lay down a heavy fiction in order to give myself the freedom to really open up and reveal something. However obscured it may be.

My head is filled with things I'd never want to reveal to anybody...