Decided it was time to post another bit of my novel, Impossible Monsters, so…here we are.
This chapter is narrated by Liz Damon, thesis adviser to American graduate student Richard (one of our protagonists), an Irish lass (well, woman, technically) who’s been living in England for most of her life, and seems rather apathetic toward the niche she’s carved out for herself. Inspiring, I know!
This is Liz’s only narrative section in the novel, although she does pop up in some other characters’ sections at various points, and, personally, I think it’s one of the strongest in the book. I really wanted to give her a voice that spoke volumes in a short amount of time, and I think I accomplished that. The overall idea/theme of the book, if I had to answer that rather simplified question, would have to be, “What if?” — the idea that at many points in our lives, we tend to ask ourselves this very question about who we are and where we’re at, wondering what would’ve happened if we had made one of numerous other choices at various points of our lives. I think it’s important to ask these sorts of questions, and I think the idea that some people don’t until it’s too late isn’t so much a depressing thought as it is inspiring (at least for those of us who do stop to check on our trajectories). Liz represents the type of person who maybe sees herself doing something else, being somewhere else, but can’t quite allow herself to follow through.
Anyway, happy reading!
I catch a glimpse of myself in the small mirror on the adjacent wall and find myself becoming shy at my own reflection, which is ludicrous in theory, shying away from oneself, but as I lock onto the few freckles I have spread neatly on both cheeks I can’t help but redden a bit. I wasn’t even aware until first stepping foot in Wellington some nine years ago that I was even what some would call a walking stereotype, however with far fairer hair and more olive-hued skin than the Irishmen depicted in literature and children’s books, but I was, as was pointed out to me rather egregiously after a night of drinking, a stereotype nonetheless and if nothing else exclusively because of those dark specks on my face. And it bothers me that even though it’s no longer a negative connotation to be Irish, and hasn’t been in my lifetime, I still find it absurd that as loud and brash as I can be in most social situations, exaggerated of course by the type and quantity of spirits present, that I, myself, am the greatest cause of my own timorous conduct.