My twin novels, good friends Crystal From The Hills and The Situation (published 6/29) both begin with accidents—the same accident, but with different conclusions, different, uh, opinions as to what really happened on a last Wednesday in March. Someone died, says book number one, CFTH. Someone’s still alive, says the spoiling follow-up, bringing hope, or denial. Distortions. It’s a problem when two people experience the same event but come away with different ideas, different memories. What really happened? What really happens in drug treatment? In yet another book I claim to know the answer to that question. Who’s in charge? Who gets to decide the truth, the way things ought to be?
Accidents. They’re all accidents, the things that happen in life. They have to be, for to insist otherwise is to say that things are consciously determined: mapped out, overseen, foreseen, and taken care of. Are we being taken care of? When accidents happen, someone is meant to step in and mollify bad feelings, guilt and inadequacy—things we download somewhere between 2 and 5. Someone’s meant to step in and say everything’s okay when we break things or fall down. But what if they don’t? What if those grown ups are gone, or just preoccupied; depressed? We forget the early stuff, the wrongdoings of our bodies, the pre-sexual mistakes of bad touch, upsets in the crib; inexplicable, cosmic aloneness. Do we really want to grow up? Some, like my characters, don’t so they keep having accidents—violent, sexual, toilet-centered, water-based accidents—things that keep us young, hoping to be picked up and rubbed until feeling better. One protagonist’s parents gave him up early, passed him off to another couple, one that tried and still tries to love. The other one’s parents stuck around, but clearly had other things to do, and perhaps should have given him up, broken up with him like women tend to; let bossy yet formidable aunts take over; just disappear, maybe.
Give the kids a break. When they’re men, let them grow down and not up, just a little. “Gimme time,” says Chris Leavitt in hapless climax. It happens too fast, this life of responsibility and mission: like this opportunity that fell upon the lap of Bryan “Weed” Tecco at some point before the text of either novel. The flash drives, plural of drive, drove him to steal, and then head out on a doom-laden drive. Weed had a vision, just like Chris Leavitt, his friend, has visions, and the vision informed Weed that the video game he was expertly testing, “The Situation”, contained elements he recognized: these “Shadows” that the likes of he and Chris see on a regular basis, pointing out truths that no one is willing or able to speak of: about wrongdoings, what’s happening in the world; what ought to happen. Weed has a problem, a God-like problem. He foresees that fallout, the events that will unfold, subverting all that should happen. The problems start when Weed starts to plan: to steal the plans for “The Situation”; to lead his corporate security followers on a chase; to take his friend Chris with him for back up, as if that were something he needed. Maybe human beings should never try to plan things. You see, we don’t it well: planning. All things are just accidents…horrible, wonderful accidents.