To start off with, this is one of the stories that I never dedicated. I'm dedicating it now, first to Annie, for giving me the basis from which to start, and now to Rose (the second) and Katie, for giving me the basis for which to finish. This is for all three of you, who have made me in many ways, the man I am today.
This is of course, a rough draft. There are many things I want to change in this, for example, just about any instance where I was deranged enough to use song lyrics. Also, tone down the abruptness of Diane.
You weren't supposed to feel sorry for anyone in this story by the end. It was written that way. That's because, in reality, if you know the whole story, no character is ever sympathetic. We pity people when we don't know the whole story. I wanted to give you the whole story.
I hate Anje. Anje is my favorite character to write because of it. Though all my characters in this story were miserably self-involved, Anje takes the cake. Anje is nothing but a bastard really, who guilted her ex into sticking around for five years. She's brash, judgmental, and hypocritical. She considers herself better than most people but: she's very human.
From chapter one, Anje is the real villain. But few people understood she was the villain until her affair with Diane was exposed. That was the point, very intentional.
The point of this is best summed up by an acute observation from a fellow fictionpress author, Daneorange. "People are unsettled by the fact that there is no anchor - no protagonist of some sort. And by the time they realize they hate all of them - they get scared, because somewhere along the way, they identified with one of them, too."
That was my point all along. Loren is wishy-washy because people are. She wants to have her cake and eat it too. Very human. Anje is self-serving, self-loathing, self-righteous, and self-centered. People are. Trina easily tempted because people are. People are lost like Algenon. And some people, are okay with their humanity, like James.
During time, I've written mostly studies in my fiction. The story, Leather and Irish Springs Soap, is my thesis on love. This is my thesis on humanity. It's a rough draft. Not all the pieces fit yet. But I hope you've enjoyed it.
One of the things I've enjoyed the most about this is the reviewers and their tendencies to, shall we say, ship the characters. Some said Loren and Anje forever, others had their own couplings. I'll explain how everyone ended up with who now.
Algenon, not Anje, is destined to be alone forever. He's a wanderer. He always will be. He's based off my own brother who considers himself "far too lazy to pursue a relationship".
Anje required someone who could match her, if not beat her. Diane is this. Anje had a distinct hero worship which turned into lust for Diane. Anje thinks Diane is brilliant, something she doesn't think about almost anyone else. This is why things didn't work out with her and Loren—Lore knew she would never be brilliant enough.
Trina and Loren sum each other up. Trina doesn't Loren as the bitch or the Goddess. The same is reversed. That's why they're together.
As for James, let's all hope he just finds someone who's not neurotic. He was never really a player in the game.
Where do we go from here? I have several stories as yet unfinished: The Last Conquistador, my "Shep" story, Aleck McGee, Because Jekyll Loved Hyde, and Just Like the Weather. I'm a fairly busy college student, but summer is coming up. You can reasonably expect work on the "Shep" story to be my new focus. The only story I've actually put on hold is Because Jekyll Loved Hyde. And don't think I've forgotten that I promised a prequel to Elaborate Eccentricities. One called Famous has been kicked around for a while now.
And so here it ends. I hope you've enjoyed it. Thanks to all those who reviewed and offered encouragement. I look forward to offering some level of enjoyment in my other writings.
Peace on Earth,