Thursday, May 05, 2005

Inventing a new character for my bicycle love story

Inventing a new character for my bicycle love story was so easy, as I sat behind the wheel of my car, listening to a really good interview on "Fan Boy Radio" (locally-produced show about comic books/characters/authors/inkers/letterers, etc.) while parked in my driveway this morning. The light was just perfect and the windshield so clear--as happens right after a nice rainfall--so I was enjoying the view. A particularly loud little bird--I could hear him over the radio--was twittering and teetering on a high thin branch, and it seemed indecisive. It clung to the branch and to a bit of white yarn or straw (I couldn't quite tell which) within its beak, and I tried to ascertain its plotting. Through the windshield, I also saw a neighborhood stray cat, whom I've dubbed "Make-Up Cat" pounce onto the hood of the car, as if from nowhere. And a few seconds later, another pounce, this time by Grace--my own pet stray cat--as she landed on top of the recycling bin to the right of the car.

I imagined that a custom-tailored drive-in movie was unfolding especially for me, and I started wishing that I had a camcorder on me to document this stunning visual display. In perfect light. After a rain.

So then, it occurred to me that I should create a character--for my play about bicycle love--a character who spends way too much time allured by the views through his/her car windshield. This character would reminisce loquaciously about bygone days of drive-in movies and would only interact with people who would join him/her in the front seat of the car. Upon doing so, they begin to see the most splendorous visions--sharing the mindset and perspective of the forever-fascinated front seat freak. The windshield would not be rose-colored, but it would offer glimpses of the mundane made unforgettable.

I got so caught up with my character development process, that I neglected to wonder what my neighbors might think about me sitting in the car in my driveway for five minutes. They probably wouldn't have guessed that I was watching a movie, the one of my imagination. It was a simple, happy moment, after the rain this morning.

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