Jennifer, at the peak of ‘finding herself’ is in the middle of a game of hospital or morgue (a game/social experiment her and Emily conjured that only ends in trouble) It’s New Year’s Eve, she is laying in the middle of a quiet suburban road, popping ex like its candy and the sugar rush leads her to a lesbian encounter with Emily. A good friend. It’s exciting, so exciting that it’s boring.
What’s key here is that she’s black in Portland Oregon at a time when the diversity is dwindling. She has no interest in what that means. She’s doing everything a white girl does in Portland, which amount to nothing. Excessive self destruction in hopes of finding something other than the knowledge that you too will die and that all of this will mean nothing.
As the stars engulf every atom you ever thought familiar, your cries for reason will drown out and all you can do is force every last bit of dopamine into every last receptor until all you can hear is Darren Frey screeching that there are too many hands being laid on her.
That’s only the opening, it’s not even the full opening.
Let’s be clear, I just finished penning ideas for the final act and it drew me to illustrate my main characters, which still feels ‘off’.
Enernst Hemingway was quoted, “the first draft of everything is sh♡t.” And it’s wonderful to hear such a thing from such an accomplished writer.
But what interests me more than the fact is the reason.
My main inspirations for this piece of work are the Parker/Hulme murder of 1954
It’s not the murder so much I’m interested in, but the motive. A connection, a bond between two women. To the outside world, it appeared to be as simple as ‘love’ and although it is in f♡cked up kind of way, it’s not really the truth. It’s a bond more like family.
When two people understand each others minds or lives, where they come from, how they’ve lived and what they want for the future, their bond is stronger than chemical attraction, familiarity or the excitement of change, it’s an understanding of their existence and something akin to their personal meaning of life.
Both of these ‘couples’, if it’s easier to see it that way, had this in common, a view of a better life, together. However misguided their actions, however horrid their crimes, their feeling in that moment was something relatively unique and wonderful.
Each story ends in horrendous tragedy and the once victim becomes a criminal. And perhaps it’s just, that they all remained alive to live out their lives with the pain of their action. Perhaps it may seem unlikely but each of these women spent their lives repentant. Going from the abused to the abuser is not an easy route and does not go without great shame.
There are many people in this world who enact evil and go un punished, but non of these women did. After serving life sentences, not only did they refrain from seeing each other (regardless of how remarkably close they ended up living to their respective ‘partners’) they continue to lead wholesome lives. Parker is a religious isolationist living in Scotland, while Hulme is well respected novelist, who managed to use her experience, understanding and interest to help and entertain.
Wolf and Collier attained undergraduate degrees, did their best to make peace with their abusive families and have lives quite lives in California ever since.
These relationships, although in the extreme, appear to me no different than those a teenager might find with a lifelong friend or an adult may transfer onto a therapist after coming to terms with a trauma.
How it starts is very human and that’s a thematic that fascinates me. Why does the victim become the criminal in these cases? Why do not all who are abused become abusers and visa versa.
Alas, it seems I’ve rambled into detail. All this knowledge and understanding and I still don’t have a clear picture of who my character are or what they look like and beyond their major events, what they do in the car between scenes. How they react to awkward silences, who exactly could have stopped them from their journey south and what their lives could have been if they made different choices.
I think in all art forms, you have to ask questions away from the main piece, things that won’t be included, stuff that your audience won’t know about, to understand why the choices you do make are important in the first place.
It’s a journey and it’s not an isolated one. If you don’t experience others work or the world you and engage and figure out what it all means, you’re not really doing yourself justice.
Strive to do better. That’s what I’m hoping from myself and that’s what I’m finding.
I constantly think when I create something new, “I used to be better than this!”
I think it’s time to start saying, “I can be something better than I am now.”
I hope I can find more artists to be inspired off. Please let me know if you have something to share.