The Laugh

happy vintage illustration batman excited

There is a man in my building, I’ll call him Mike. That is not his name, but it will do for this story. He is a short man, round in size. Actually, he’s shaped more like an egg than a basketball–but that’s not what sets him apart from the rest of those living in my urban paradise.

His hair is black, naturally straight as a spade–but he perms it. It’s his ‘thing.’ Once again–not that defining factor (even thought it probably should be.)

What sets Mike apart from the rest of my block is his laugh. He has the laugh of a 1970’s villain’s sidekick. You know the character. He’s the guy who accidentally takes a rake to the chest because he wasn’t paying attention and stepped on the handle as he ran away from the hero of the story. When I hear the piercing sound of his punctuated howl, I nearly always pause for Luther to say, “Warriors, come out to play-i-ay!” even though I’m not in the subway and no where close to New York City.

Testing 1, 2, 3 the warriors can you dig it movie 1970s

Once, a long time ago when I first moved into my apartment, Mike wanted to be my friend. He would joke with me, and I would smile and look interested–rarely did I know what he was talking about. He’s about eleven shy of a dozen… I would like to make it clear, this wasn’t some sort of hiccup due to language barrier, Mike is just an odd man. Plus, my poker face stinks.

Now, Mike doesn’t acknowledge me at all. Not even a nod or a simple hello. It was after this courtyard dismissal I became privy to the laugh (that is normally mixed with techno and tighty whities.) He’s in a class all his own, and with our non-existent relationship–I have no way to record this chuckle. None that are legal anyway.

Alas, dear friends. What am I do do? As a writer I NEED to record it! I need to post the track on here!! I need to add it to my current WIP, or at least something I write in my life.

All of Mike needs to be in a book. All five-foot-five-inches of him, with his ovoid shaped frame, and even he jet black spiral perm. I see him perched on the edge of his antique folding tattered lawn chair, seated behind his Audi (it’s a mystery how he upgraded from a white battered gremlin to this luxury hatchback–but that’s a whole other post), with the car’s stereo speaker blaring, as he listens to his earbuds.

Mike is a character that belongs in a book–and not cackling under my bedroom window for many reasons. Most of which would keep me sane. The only reason I don’t slam my music and turn on my own music is that laugh you may never hear…

[This is how I find characters for my stories. Some fit in perfect, others I dissect and keep the part I’ve grown to love (or loath). Mike is a very real person. Almost too real. My theory as to why he’s in my life is it keeps me from being to serious all the time. Life is too short not to find a hyena laugh hilarious.]

 

Characters, aren’t we all.

the-fall-tv-showThere is this BBC show, it is called “The Fall” and it centers around two characters:

#1 – Stella Gibson, played by Gillian Anderson

#2 – Paul Spector, played by Jamie Dornan

It is the tale of two obsessive, compulsive people on two different sides of the law. One is a police detective and the other a murder, and yes – you’ve heard this premise a million times before.

But you’ve never met Stella Gibson.

I’m a fan of crime drama, not all but a lot of them. I’m a fan of female characters, not all but a few I really love. And then there is Stella Gibson.

In every recess of entertainment – television, movies, novels, plays – I would like to see more “Stella Gibson” type characters. I would love to see someone so self-possessed and contained even the lowest of the low (and I’m talking about people who are a fan of slut shaming) can’t touch her. Well, maybe they do. Maybe they get to her, because after all, we’re all human and words hurt – but still, there is something magnificent about her.

She is beautiful, smart, sexy, confident, contained, brilliant, and caring.

The underlining theme of Man V. Woman is strung throughout in more ways than one – from sex, to death, to daily life. It is examined, dissected, discussed and thrown in your face. Basically, The Fall makes you think. The tension keeps you on your wit’s end and then you have this truth handed to you – because it really is a truth, no matter what people say or how they try to spin it.

At the end of series 2 there is a discussion between Stella and one of her officers – a man – and she’s says something along these lines, “When ask why men felt threatened by women, they say they’re afraid women may laugh at them. When women are asked why they felt threatened by men, they say they’re afraid they might kill them.”

The Fall is an excellent example of non-stereotypical characterization and I’m talking all of these characters. They are layered, have debt, and make you connect to them – even if it’s by making you hate them.

What type of characters do you wish there were more of?

Passion and imaginary friends


Life can be interesting out there, but it really is so much more interesting inside my head. The places, the battles, the people and their baggage – a world of my very own where what I say goes, and what isn’t fun about that? It’s a vacation to a far off land or a new world never before seen with all the right/wrong things and all the best/worst people. Ah, writing is the breath in my lungs.

I sit, on days, for hours, pouring over the oddest little things until I find a source that never seems to leave me. The people, especially, haunt me at the oddest times. There are moments when I’m at the market and I see a piece of fruit that makes me think of one character, or maybe I’m people watching and I see another walk by. These characters, these people, burrow into my brain and my being until they are my newest best friends that I can not live without.

Has this happened to you? Passion for all your make-believe friends?

Alas, maybe it IS just me, but I’m okay with that, because never a moment will there be that I am all alone. Never a moment will there be that I can not fly to another world with them. Yes, that’s why the world inside my head is so wonderful, because of the passion, because of the drive and because of the dragons.

Seriously. They’re the bomb.