Michael / Imago – Relationships

The Cast:

Michael is one of a cast of three and he is the binding agent; the one in the middle. The other two characters are The Writer (shall we call him Harry?), and Joan (latterly known as Sister Joan). There are one or two bit-parts, but they are merely walk-ons that elicit remarks that pertain to the plot and have no other part in the story.

The Story (the events in order):

Michael knew Joan when they were children and he was more than a little in love with her. Her family moved away and they lost touch until Michael went to the University of Sussex to pursue his Masters in Theology. He found that Joan was enrolled on the same course and that her family were living in that area. They became a couple, she introduced him to LSD and they got high together. M was not really into it, he was into her. Unfortunately, he became addicted and, because she cleaned up with the aid of the small tortoiseshellPoor Clares (an order of nuns), they again lost contact. Michael cleaned up too and remained obsessed by her. M dropped out of University and embraced the life of a homeless and solitary traveller and that’s the last J knew of him because she joined the closed community of nuns. She retained, though, feelings of guilt about M and blamed herself for his state. What she did not know is that he was clean and his mental state was due to an organic condition unrelated to the drugs. He settled down eventually on the steps of St Michael le Belfrey in York and continued with his twin obsessions of Joan and transcendence through suffering. Oh, this is all so very unlikely, but not all of it will come out in the story. Most of it will be inferred by the reader (if they choose). A writer (Harry) happened along and saw M as a beggar and decided to help him by interviewing him and then giving him the result as a booklet that could be sold to the public instead of begging. This somehow released M from his mental prison and allowed him to open up in a stream-of-consciousness (SoC) kind of a way. H edited the resulting text, but when he tried to deliver it to M he was gone with only a butterfly in his place.

The Plot (the events rearranged for dramatic effect):

  1. Sister J in nunnery praying for M (Michael/Imago (New Beginning))
  2. H interviewing M on the steps:
    • M talking (SoC) of childhood. Segues into several scenes with strong imagery:
      • 7 Mother punishing cake-eating by locking in cold shed overnight
      • 10 Joan finding and returning him after he runs away
      • 15 Joan’s family leave
    • M talking (SoC) of university. Segues into several scenes with strong imagery:
      • 21 Joan meeting M at uni
      • 22 Joan introducing M to drugs
      • 23 J & M taking drugs regularly
    • M talking (SoC) of cleaning up. Segues into several scenes with strong imagery:
      • 25 Joan cleaning up and becoming nun
      • 26 M cleaning up and becoming homeless
      • 30 M diagnosis of … something that makes him withdrawn
    • M talking (SoC / lucid) of seemingly random things that mean little to H but are important to the plot:
      • 47 Feelings for Joan – tenderness and wanting to take away her guilt (she thinks …)
      • 47 (lucid) – get this to Joan. Poor Clare.
      • 47 (SoC) – butterfly babble. Imago.
  3. H returning to the steps and finding M gone. Sees first butterfly of spring.

My approach to characters:

I tend to write about characters based on the kinds of people I see every day. I write about what I imagine they do, say and think. My stories are extrapolations based on what I see people do, what I say to people around me (or what I would say if I were bold) and what I think about (or imagine others to think about). They tend to speak to each other about normal, everyday things, act in ways that are realistic within their environment and think of things in a rather deep way rather than about shallow things. Their intentions and actions are towards harmony and resolution even though they may have problems at the beginning of the story.

This story is typical of my approach to life. Do you think I’m putting myself into my stories too much?

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One thought on “Michael / Imago – Relationships

  1. Pingback: Unreliable Narrators | robertcday

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