My 2006 NaNoWriMo novel. Woo! Note: since I am posting as I go along, the storyline is backwards. To read this, start from the oldest post and read to the newest.

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Location: Los Angeles, United States

I am an awkward, stubborn, slightly insane woman who would rather talk Plato than Prada, rather watch Frank Capra than Carrie Bradshaw, and rather listen to Norse myths sung in Icelandic than anything currently on the radio. Yeah. Told you I was weird.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Chapter 6

To Angie Parr
From: Jason Slocum
Re: discouraged
I don't know if I'm just tired or frustrated or what, but I'm finding it hard to keep caring. I've tried so hard these past few weeks, but I just don't see it. I don't see why I should keep working so damn hard, for a life that seems to be a bizarre accident, at best. Maybe some people are made to be saints, and others just aren't. Maybe for some of us, mediocrity is the best thing we can hope for, and only after much striving.
I'm tired, Angie. I'm tired, and angry, and I don't want to try anyone.
"And I wake up in the night and feel the dark, it's so hot inside my soul, I swear there must be blisters on my heart."

To: Jason Slocum
From: Angie Parr
Re: discouraged
Part of me wants to just say "Keep on going, it really is worth it, and someday you'll see it." But I know that's not fair to you. You don't see it right now, and I can't pretend that you do. So what can I say that will persuade you?
It may be true that this word is a cruel trick, the moments of devasting beauty just a lid to keep us in the jar (don't mind the weird analogy, just stay with me here). But it is equally possible that it's a beautiful world, with moments of horror and pain presented to us as challenges to be transformed.
Actually, I don't think that's the case, but it's equally as possible as the 'cruel joke' scenario. It seems much more likely that it's just a world, with people who sometimes mess up, and sometimes get it right. A beautiful place, scarred by sin, but still with glories that shine through.
And again with the not-helping, but...I don't know. Every time I try to say something that'll be helpful, I end up saying what I think...and not helping.
You know, really, I think I'd recommend talking to someone else about this, especially James.
P.S. Next weekend ok for the next trip?
"Domine istud quod facio non facio nisi ut inveniam te. Inveniam te post quam id perfecero."
The outer door of the chapter squeaked slightly as I pushed it open. I'd never been in here, not after the initial campus tour. I let the white wooden door close as quietly as possible, and found myself in a tiny foyer. Aging white paint coated the walls, and a small bench for backpacks and other items sat against the right-hand wall. The only decoration was a rather poor painting of a young woman; I knew the chapel had been named after her, but couldn't remember why.
Another set of doors stood about two feet from my face; white and wooden, they didn't clasp but simply swung open and shut.
I pushed one of the doors open slightly, glancing inside. There didn't seem to be anyone else in there, so I slipped in quietly. There were only about eight pews in the whole chapel, four on each side. In the front of the chapel was a window of frosted glass, with a large cross dividing it into four parts. In front of the cross was a small table, cluttered with letters and offerings from other students.
I took a seat in one of the middle pews, and sat there for a moment, leaning on the pew in front of me. The air inside the chapel was still, but a sweet cool breeze came in through the windows that had been propped open. I could heard the sound of a mower somewhere on the campus. That's southern California for you, mowing in January.
I suddenly caught the scent of mown grass; you know how some smells seem to bring back a hundred memories at once? The sharp green odor of the grass made me think of summers as a young child, playing in the yard, chasing butterflies by day and fireflies by night. Of tag, red rover, and baseball. Of lemonade, and trampolines, and my mother making sandwiches. Of Sarah the girl next door who one day developed cooties and wasn't fun to play with anymore. Of Hannah. Hannah in her pink sundress. Laughing about a sudden silence. Hannah picking the crust off her bread.
She was only here for seventeen years, God. Why did she go? If she couldn't find a reason to go on, how can I? There's so much less good in me than there was in her.
I saw her for a moment, standing on the grass on the church; then suddenly imagined scenes of her lying on her bloody sheets, face deathly white, and memories of her at the hospital, in the few moments they'd allowed us to have before she was taken to the morgue. Memories of the funeral, green grass all around and the fake green carpet ready to cover her grave; even the mortician's art hadn't been able to completely hide her pallor.
I rested my forehead on the back of the pew in front of me, my face suddenly flushed and swollen. The door creaked behind me, but I ignored it. I'm sure people had breakdowns in here all the time. A few tears slipped down, stubbornly refusing to be held back. I blinked rapidly, trying to breathe deeply and evenly.
A felt an arm slip around my shoulders, and was undone. I had just enough time to look up and see Stephan's burning, compassionate eyes, before my sight blurred and I began to shake with the sobs.
To: Jason Slocum
From Stephan Anastasios
Subject: Hey
Just wanted to say sorry if I intruded on your privacy today. I didn't want to offend you, but it seemed like you needed someone then. I'm not very good with words, sorry.
"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."

To: Stephan Anastasios
From: Jason Slocum
Subject: Re: Hey
No problem. I did need someone there, even if I could never ask for it. It's hard for me to cry even when I'm alone, much less with people, but I guess even I need to cry with someone at some point.


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