There’s a scene in “The Story” I keep revisiting, and I’m sure it’s because it encapsulates what I appreciate and what I want to encapsulate most about its three main characters. In this scene, Trishna went out to perhaps get snacks, Pollyanna went over to lay her snout on John’s leg, so when Trishna returns, they pet her, call her a good girl, and when Pollyanna gets tired, John tucks her into her doggie bed.
Spoilers?: Minor [characterization through action]
I don’t know if I’d tell this particular scene from Pollyanna’s perspective.
Maybe from Pollyanna’s perspective, along with John’s and Trishna’s? That’s what I imagine to be the robust versatility of “The Story.” Rather than writing a singular perspective, there can be multiple perspectives. To get to that point, however, I would need to practice the singular-perspective writing style of writing fiction, which is where writing Trishna’s sister’s Sammohini’s stories, starting with Novel 01 and continuing eventually with Novel 02 is useful. I can practice in a low-impact environment like Sammohini’s workplace because, honestly, most workplaces don’t matter outside of their workplaces. If Sammohini acts in a certain way on a certain day, it most likely won’t affect any of the larger events of “The Story,” so I’m free to practice or workshop ideas.
But to return to this scene…
What I like about this is that throughout Pollyanna’s life, she was Trishna’s protector, not just because she was Trishna’s service dog for her disability, but because she was always around. When John appears, then, Pollyanna’s role as protector might shift from an active role to a more passive role. She wouldn’t need to be around as much to help with things. She would, of course, be as dutiful to her last day, but she might feel more able to relax. In a sense, she could, perhaps for the first time in her doggie life, feel calm enough to be tucked in by someone like John, without needing to be constantly alert in case Trishna needed her.
Pollyanna would still perk up when, later, Trishna and John laugh over something.
She would briefly open her eyes and look over, see that they are OK, and go back to sleep. Or maybe they’d see Pollyanna lift her head and John would go over to pet her head and reassure her that everything was OK. Looking at this scene from these multiple perspectives also asks about the intentions for this. What does this tell the reader? That there are dogs that are loyal? That humans can be as trustworthy as dogs? That the bonds we share between humans and dogs are perhaps closer than the ones shared between humans – if only because there is no deceit between humans and dogs?
Here I thought I was just going to write about tucking in a cute, old dog into a doggie bed…
When I think of my childhood dog, Patrick, throughout most of his life he had a somewhat rambunctious spirit about him until he reached his old age. At that point, he wasn’t as active, and that was the point where I remember his attitude changed from being clever and creative to being calmer and perhaps for the first time more outwardly appreciative of certain actions. Where, before, he might have taken for granted certain things like assuming I would do things for him, when he got old, well, I wasn’t there as often for him either, so shame on me. I would like to transpose some of the positive aspects of those feelings to Pollyanna, however, of appreciating her family, and I know that for John, especially, he appreciates the family he moves into when he moves in with Trishna, so he does what he can to help out with everyone.
That includes making sure Pollyanna feels comfortable.
I like thinking about how John and Trishna probably brush Pollyanna daily. John might get help from the family to bathe and shampoo Pollyanna weekly, and to other things to take care of her including trimming her nails or brushing her teeth. Do I think about that because of how I wish I had brushed Patrick more often? Or how often, today, I wish I had tucked in Patrick all those years ago? I don’t like to artificially impose nonfiction onto fiction. If there are elements of nonfiction that inspire fiction, then I’m happy for the inspirations, but I don’t think those nonfiction elements should control those fictional elements.
Otherwise, I wouldn’t be writing about Pollyanna; I’d be writing about Patrick.
When I imagine the scene where John tucks in Pollyanna, I imagine it from a first-person perspective, so is that me? No. When we play videogames, we can play first-person shooters, but we are not the shooters in these videogames outside of ourselves as actors in a videogame. So when John tucks in Pollyanna, I imagine him kneeling down at her doggie bed, where she can look up to face Trishna’s bed, where Pollyanna’s back faces the wall, and John gently folds a blanket under Pollyanna’s back. He watches her expression to see if she stirs. She pants calmly. When he’s done, he lightly touches her cheek, and she licks his hand.
He goes up to wash his hand.
Later, John and Trishna are playing the same videogame they were playing earlier before Trishna left to talk to her mom and get a snack, where Pollyanna got up from her dog nap to check on Trishna and, finding John, put her snout on his leg to look for a pet on the head. They might laugh over something that happens in-game. This might stir Pollyanna, still attentive to changes in Trishna’s mood, from her light slumber. John might, then, go back over and reassure Pollyanna that everything is OK, but thank Pollyanna for being such a good girl for caring about Trishna, and wanting to make sure that she was OK.
I’m sure I’ll write about this scene many more times before I write it.
|Sources: The Story’s Imaginarium.|
|Inspirations: Not quite these photos exactly, but more of a general scene I had in mind.|
|Related: Essays building “The Story.”|
|Written On: 2020 June 26 [3:48am to 4:27am]|
|Last Edited: 2020 June 26 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|