On Post: Good
Date: January 16
Years ago, I worked in a bookstore. Of my various retail positions, it was easily my favorite. For one, I got to be around books, which I am a fan of, and had a decent enough to discount to purchase a great many of them. Additionally, the beauty of stripped paperbacks and magazines allowed me to bring stuff home for free that I would not otherwise be willing to pay cash for. The money (for a 16 year old) was good, the staff was generally fun...it was one of those jobs that made you wonder what the heck adults were complaining about.
(There’s always a but, isn’t there…)
But, I had a co-worker who we’ll call “Otto.” Otto loved, loved!, LOVED! role play games, specifically the live action version of one about vampires that they played one night a week on a local university’s campus. He invited us to join…often and talked about it ever more than that. He was also in his mid 20’s at the time—which seemed SO far away to me then—had no car, no license, and had been engaged twice…but married never. When he wasn’t talking about vampires—the game or the mythical creatures—he disclosed all too personal information about his life. He was, in short, the worst possible stereotypes of LARPers come to life.
And he was the inspiration for this story, absolutely. The character here is an exaggerated version of him and the character’s peccadilloes were not the same as Otto’s. That said, this character does not exist without Otto and the one night I drove Otto back to his apartment and he talked my ear off about why he had moved home because of an unreasonable roommate. The roommate, in question, however, seemed quite reasonable, if Otto’s version of the truth was accurate. It was just that Otto’s perspective on what was acceptable and not was so skewed that he believed himself to be the “normal” offended party in this relationship.
Most would not agree.
When I first decided to follow through on Ron Chance’s Reader Choice suggestion of “Anything by Better Than Ezra” I was going to go with “King of New Orleans.” It was a “deep cut” and I thought it would be fertile creative ground. It was not. I couldn’t make it work. So, I abandoned it in favor of the much better known “Good.” Initially, I was going to give it the “Old Apartment” treatment and make it a bitter note from the departing ex to the staying ex. However, I did not want to only explore the romantic interpersonal relationship in the Project and I had been hitting that note pretty hard. So, I asked myself “Who else lives together?”
Roommates, of course.
Once I knew I was going that route, the bitter, serious note idea fell by the wayside and instead I decided to go to overexaggerated comedy. Then, the idea of Otto as inspiration, as mentioned above, just felt natural.Just because the Project has ended doesn't mean I still don't value your feedback. Feel free to let me know on Twitter (@UnGajje) or drop me a note at tim[dot]g[dot]stevens[at]gmail[dot]com or on Facebook. If you see anything you like, I am all over the net too, so please check out my other works at Marvel, Complaint of the Week at the Living Room Times, and New Paris Press (which is now up and running) or my various 140 character missives on that Twitter account.