As I woke up today, I realized that I was enacting a scene from “The Story.” Over the past few weeks, especially, my health has been, frankly, failing. I’ve been less able to do much of anything. I can’t row, I can’t do much of anything without hurting or getting headaches, so when I woke up, my mind went to a scene that I’ll draft out below relating to John’s fragility in an early scene.
Spoilers?: Minor [fragility on display]
That scene takes place immediately after “The Scene.”
Giving context to where this all takes place, for years, John and Trishna talked online before “The Scene” where John asks for Trishna’s help. Her family picks him up and drives him back to their home. By the time he arrives, he’s beaten and famished. He’s used to being famished but the beatings were enough to wear him down significantly. When he wakes up and has his first meal with Trishna’s family, at first, he insists on wanting to help out. He wants to repay everyone’s kindness for rescuing him and feeding him.
Trishna’s mom might say something like “you can help out once you’re recovered.”
This empathy builds the foundation for John’s relationship with all of Trishna’s family since they see him as someone that wants to try so they want to help him out in return and he appreciates that they’re all nice to him. This might be most apparent with John’s relationship to Pollyanna, Trishna’s service dog, who has a sort of Ein-level intellect where Pollyanna can understand everything Trishna says, almost everything John says, and maybe about half of what her family says. Trishna will ask Pollyanna to be nice to John, but if she doesn’t like him, to let her know so she can be on guard.
Instead, Pollyanna loves John from the moment they meet.
That sort of charming narrative is underpinned from that great negative situation John was in. I don’t really believe in the notion of method writing. I didn’t need to have experienced the pains of John’s fragility to know how to write it, however, having gone through that level of health degradation is something that I now have a reference point for, so I guess that’s an experience I have now. I can now look back to these past few weeks where I can barely feel able to bend over to pick up something I’ve dropped and say, “yep, now I know how John felt for this one specific scene. Doesn’t feel good.”
To conclude the thought, I imagined John not eating much, but eventually recovering.
I imagine that I, too, will recover. I’m not sure how. For John, it’s a matter of rest and eating good quality food. For me, my spine has been in such horrible shape for so long that the only route to recovery seems to be breaking my spine back into position, resting through the pain of the recovery, and repeating until things are normalized. It’s a sadistic experience and one that I don’t want to imagine on John and Trishna, exactly. I don’t want them to go through extended hardships, but as I’ve been less mobile, I know better how Trishna will get around.
Before, I thought of her immobility as being closer to a foot that fell asleep.
This fails to highlight how other parts of the body don’t respond almost equally to that foot that fell asleep. Everything moves slower. I haven’t felt like walking at a gait that I consider “my normal” in weeks. I might go close at times, but my muscles are too sore and my spine is too weak to let me do such actions for extended periods of time. Maybe that’s part of the problem of me staying sedentary for so long, but as I kept trying to explain, there’s that whole hurting sensation that breaks my ability to want to push myself further along that prevents me from making as much progress as they would have liked to see…
I don’t know how many of these notions I’ll explore in “The Story.”
I’ve imagined Trishna having an easier time in the Eville Healthcare System, maybe because it’s easier to treat something like a physical impairment that you can see versus something like me where it’s an internal medicine thing. I’m not sure, but I know that by the time I write “The Story,” which I imagine to be the culmination of all my major pieces of fiction – starting with Trishna’s sister Sammohini’s sister Sammohini’s short stories and Novel 01 – I will have looked at this from many different perspectives. Novel 02’s subtitle is “Something About Anxiety.” That should tell you something about the perspective I’m going to take on medicine and how that affects one character.
It’ll be nice to see how John and Trishna advance, physically, throughout “The Story.”
I imagine that John will return to a healthy weight and they’ll both try going to their college gym. John will try skateboarding with some friends he meets along the way, Float and Quest. Trishna continues her physical therapy and might even start rowing or doing things to improve her physicality. If I can take the negatives of my current experiences and apply them to a fictional scenario, then maybe I can make the best of this situation, but really, I’d like this headache-riddled, spine-weakened section of my life to conclude on a positive note.
In order to do that, though, I have to keep advocating for my health.
Without that, it’s not so much that the American Healthcare System is a gross, ugly, and callous system. But it’s not so much that it’s not. In order to get yourself fixed up, sometimes, you have to keep reminding everyone that you’re in the terrible condition you’re in. I don’t know how much John and Trishna will have to face in that regard. I would hope not so much.
But I guess it depends on the scenes they appear in…
|Sources: The Story’s Imaginarium, along with my personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: The reason why I don’t like method acting/writing that much is that I consider John and Trishna to be unique characters. I don’t think of John as being “me,” maybe an extension of elements of, maybe, but if I were just like “yeah, this is how it was like for me in June 2020,” then that’s boring as fiction. It’s fine as nonfiction because I can express myself honestly, but there’s that whole “fiction” element to fiction that makes it less appealing.|
|Related: Essays building “The Story.” Along with Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.|
|Picture: “The Story” template.|
|Written On: 2020 June 05 [10:53pm to 11:21pm]|
|Last Edited: 2020 June 05 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|