I’m always drawn to darker topics. I try to read more positive things, but there’s just nothing all that interesting about good deeds or uplifting stories. Some guy saves a cat in a tree. It’s cute and all but what else is there to it? Some cat mauls a guy. Why did that happen? How is he recovering? Will he ever trust a cat again? What happened to the cat? Why did it attack? What is the history of cats attacking people? There’s much more there.
I had a fascination with last words for about a month. I had to come to the point in a story where I was killing off a character. I had to decide what his last words would be. I had an entire death speech written out. But then I wondered if that was realistic. What are people’s last words? I read a lot of material on the last words of people; suicide notes, airplane crash black box transcripts, emergency room help stories, cancer patient blogs. I made sure to include of various ages. I read the last words of children who didn’t quite understand what death was, the words elderly who were often prepared for it, and then the middle-aged who didn’t see it coming. There would be fear in people’s writings or messages to their family. Some people raved, begging and screaming for more time. I found those suited the character I was writing so that was the death I gave him.
Now my current fascination is divorce. I don’t know what has brought this up. None of my friends are getting divorced. I just love reading articles about what causes marriages to fail and reading the stories of people fighting an uphill battle to keep their marriages together.
A successful marriage takes two people. A successful divorce only needs one. Isn’t that funny? You can get down on your knees in front of your friend and family, then back out of what you said. Not that I advocate people staying in bad relationships. I’m not against divorce. I just think it’s funny that a person can promise their life to another for better or worse but once worse comes, they can just wash their hands of it.
After a divorce, a person has to recover their identity outside the marriage. For years they did everything with their partner in mind. They bought a house together. They might have taken a job that better fit their relationship. They were like flesh and blood. Now it’s torn asunder. They are not the same person that went into that marriage. They have to redefine themselves.
I read a lot about people feeling like they can breath again. They’re free from a bad environment that was making them miserable.
Another fascinating thing about divorce is how alarmingly high the rate of it is. It isn’t the fifty percent that’s been tossed around since the seventies. I believe around twenty-five to thirty percent of first time marriages end in divorce. So about a third of people were dead wrong when they picked their partner. What is the cause of this? Were issues ignored? How many of these people were rushed into marriage by their families? Did they quit too early? Did they just see marriage as a logical next step and didn’t realize the work that had to be put in? Did they find someone that they loved more?
Or was it irreconcilable differences?
No one is at fault. It was just two people who tried and there was no way to make it work. They’re only human after all. There are people who blame themselves for the failing of the marriage. They carry that weight and it hangs over their future connections. They can’t escape that failure. They made a vow that they couldn’t keep. How can they make the promise to someone else?
I’m hoping my next fascination will be something a bit more upbeat. Last year I was all about barren women and how they’ve been treated throughout history. It has not been good for them. Before that it was missing people who were never found. Are they still out there? I do find myself drifting towards the never-ending cycle of poverty. Why can’t you just throw money at that problem?