Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Complicated Processes

 One would think with the ongoing challenges I have finishing out a novel plot that I am not a storyteller. Here’s how I know I am, in fact, a natural storyteller.

 My grandchildren (now over eighteen) were homeschooled. Their mother, who had a degree as a schoolteacher, was their teacher and principal. I was in charge of extracurricular activities.

 Amongst those activities were frequent trips to the library.

 My grandson, Jayden, and I were standing at the counter checking out books. The librarian asked me a question (sorry, I don’t remember the question) and I immediately launched into a story.

 When I finished Jay asked me, “Washers”, (I will explain the name later), “why do you always tell stories instead of answering questions?”

 He wasn’t irritated or judging me. He was genuinely curious.

 Which got me to thinking – is he right? Do I tell stories all the time?

 Upon reflection – I do. Stories seem to be at the core of my being. Who knew?

 The whole thing reminded me of Salman Rushdie’s magical realism novel “Haroun and the Sea of Stories” in which bits of stories are given out and merged into new stories by a ‘Process To Complicated To Explain’. P2C2E gets messed up and Haroun, the boy hero, is swept up in an adventure to fix / save it.

 I was lucky enough to get a book on tape of the novel which was read by Rushdie himself and it was mesmerizing.

 Rushdie is an interesting story. Not sure if he still does but for years he had a bounty on his head from the Iranian government because his book Satanic Verses was labeled blasphemous. I’ve heard of banning books but…

 Someone once remarked with envy that Rushdie managed to meet and marry his mate while in hiding on the run from a government trying to kill him and the person speaking couldn’t even get a date.

 Of course, the same could be said of novel writing. Rushdie wrote Haroun and the Sea of Stories after he was targeted for his previous book Satanic Verses. I can’t even focus on finishing one novel even though my life is a bowl of cherries comparatively.

 In summation – I, Washers, am a compulsive storyteller. And my grandchildren call me Washers because I had been away for nine months or so working in San Diego and when I came to Kentucky for a visit my then three-year-old granddaughter, Katyna, opened the door and came running to me yelling “Washers, Washers.” No one knows why including grown Kat. But since she called me that, when Jay came along he also called me that. And it stuck.

UPDATE ON RUSHDIE: The dear man of 75 years thought he was safe now and went back out into the world. He was stabbed repeatedly before starting a lecture. He is apparently alive and kicking, thank goodness. Religious zealots strike again.


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