Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Anatomy of a breakup, 3: promises to keep

"The woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep."  ~Robert Frost.
So, after the dust settles from the emotional mushroom cloud, what happens then?

Of course, you're wondering: what do you mean? It's over. You recover, you move on.

But there are promises we each make in a relationship, aren't there?  I made promises to her.  She wanted some help on writing fights scenes, and she wanted my input of what a guy would feel in certain romantic situations. Technically, I think these blogs would cover the latter, if she ever read them (I'm still betting she doesn't), but I can't consult on fight scenes without making them generic   I'm tempted to write her a fight scene or two and email them straight to her.

Why? Because I promised.  She stopped the friendship, but does that release me from the obligations I put myself under?

I'm not going to ask her, because I'm seriously not certain I could tolerate an answer one way or another. If she says yes, am I supposed to be angry that she'd take advantage of my good nature to have me write? And what if I wasn't angry? And if I fulfilled my duty, wouldn't that be awkward to work with her on it? Not to mention, if she refused free assistance, how much must she truly hate me?
My attempt at a chibi

And she made promises to me. She said she wanted to return all of the efforts I put in to helping her sell some online products, by helping me sell my book when the time came. Should I really hold her to that?  She also wanted to draw me a Vatican Ninja chibi ... mainly because the ones I created on my computer kind of sucked, and she insisted that "A Pius Man deserves better than that." (Looking at my artwork (on the right) who can disagree with her?)

Then again, at one point, she also offered me use of stunt people she knew who owed her a favor .... this was back when I first started filming book trailers. I thought she might be quite nice for Maureen McGrail. She had the right coloring, and such beautiful green eyes ....

Anyway, how does one enforce a promise? Especially with someone who unilaterally cut off a friendship. The bonds of friendship have no hold then, right?  She said nothing of debts and promises, like the past never happened. But it did happen.  So, do I fulfill my promise to her, regardless of whether she asks or not, or whether she fulfills her promises or not?

The point is, for you writers taking notes, is that there is never a clean break in a relationship -- friendship or dating.  There will always be some part of the past than sticks around, whether you like it or not, whether your characters like it or not. And these relationships will stick with your characters in one way or another. It will alter how they approach similar situations; sometimes they may even approach dissimilar situations differently because of a surface similarity.

For example, I made compromises that ensured I kept my virtue intact against an amorous woman, and those compromises eventually resulted in her drugging me.  Now, I've drawn an even harder line, one that only two people so far have met. And one of those people never wants to talk with me again.  How will this relationship affect me in the long run?  No idea, I'm not even over it yet.

Though, for you writers out there, how would your character be affected in the long run?  What will linger? Will memories? Scents? Gifts from one to another? Or promises to keep? Debts unpaid and oaths forsworn?  Yes, this is over dramatic, but it does depend on the context, doesn't it?

Anyway, that's the last in this series. I hope you've all found this ... well, at least entertaining, if not useful.  I'm not big into reading angst, but then again, Twilight has a large following, so what do I know?

So .... anyway, something amusing for those of you people who have been depressed, or feel cheated by these blogs.  I give you something perfectly nerdy, and perfectly romantic.

A Portal Proposal.

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