January 7, 2014

Back when I had a more active interest in maintaining my big girl blog, I came across a writing prompt that really grabbed me:

You are in a coma but you can hear everything everyone is saying.

Unfortunately I can’t seem to place how my brain was connecting the storm of things together, but I decided to center the story around two very good friends who had met at summer camp and ended up staying close through adulthood. One of them is in a car accident, and the other is either listed as her emergency contact; or is the only number emergency personnel can find after the woman is brought in.

(I know for a fact, some of this is due to my shamelessly rampant addiction to homoerotic subtext of the lady-on-lady variety.)

With that said, I had two people in mind; whose relationship I had painted enough of a brain-picture of that I felt like selfishly connecting the rest of the dots wouldn’t be too much of a stretch. I decided to name them Mona and Heather.

Mona, short for Ramona, is a sassy lady who lets nothing stand in her way. She takes life by the horns, dives into everything wholeheartedly, and headfirst. Heather is pensive and bookish. Rather than recoiling from social situations, she prefers to stand on the sidelines and observe before making any decisions. They are each other’s yin and yang.

The way I’d set them up is that they were accidental bunkmates, and slowly developed a long-lasting friendship. (I’m trying to think of how to describe the two of them without gagging over the first wave of earnestly saccharine adverbs that are hanging out in my brain.) They aren’t saccharine, they’re just friends. They love each other in a “run out in front of a bus for you” way. After awhile, their roots just sort of grew together.

The story starts where Mona’s just been in a horrific accident, and Heather pretends to be her next of kin so she can stay with her at the hospital. It winds through bits and pieces of their relationship; showing how they fit together, and how well they can lean on each other for support. (I have a few particular scenes in mind that tie everything together but explaining them would be a load of superfluous drivel, trust me.)

Given the backstory I’ve set up for these two characters, it serves mentioning that the idea of RPF (‘real person fanfic’) creeps the ~shit out of me. Which actually, now that I’m thinking about it, may speak to this problem of personal ownership, if you’ll forgive the tangent.

In any case, writing this didn’t feel weird to me because I was wholly convinced that I was illuminating the story of Mona and Heather– but a part of me still felt weird because I was using real, tangible flesh as their inspiration. If Mona and Heather are secretly other, breathing human beings, do I own them? Did they come from me?

If Heather’s late-summer bedroom, filled with shelves upon shelves of books, warm afternoon light, and Mona’s skirted, happy, body is an amalgamation of childhood rooms I’ve lived in or seen, do I own it?

By piecing things together into new things, does that mean I created them? Or just facets of them? Do I own the things, or just the facets of the thing?

Mona and Heather are friends in real life, this much I know.

My hope is that everything else is just coincidence.