Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Week in Seven Words #297

Like a bloodshot eye, the moon flickers faintly red through a film of cloud.

I'm running late to meet with a hiking group in an unfamiliar neighborhood. Based on subway travel time estimations, the group's route, their likelihood of heading out 10-15 minutes late, and the speed at which they'll walk, I guess which subway stop to get off of and wind up only a few minutes out of sync with them.

During our conversation she laughs, and then tells me it's the first time she's laughed all day. It feels good to do that for someone.

I watch them play a soccer video game with graphics so crisp the players look real. There's also real-time commentary, giving the effect of an actual televised game. It's kind of mind-blowing. From my own childhood I remember a small Mario in profile stomping on mushrooms. A Sega Jurassic Park game had more sophisticated graphics, and it let you play as either Alan Grant or a velociraptor (I enjoyed being the velociraptor). But it hits me now, how much games have changed.

I think about the difficulties of writing a 'weak' main character. Someone struggling with some of life's more basic demands. I don't want the character to become too pathetic or seem too hopeless. I also don't want to hit an unchanging note of defeat for pages on end. There's a challenge in making a character enervated while keeping the story dynamic. And even in the character's weakness, one may see the potential for greater strength developing.

Buildings brimming with activity. The balconies filling up. The windows showing faces, silhouettes, and household clutter.

A homeless man and a monk walk on opposite sides of the street. "I belong to an awesome church," the homeless man calls out. "Join my church." "I like my church," says the monk. The homeless man laughs and says, "My church is for everyone. Your church is part of my church." "No," the monk replies, "my church is the one church for everyone."