Ed was a large man and even he had to admit that nature seldom creates a more dangerous animal than a large man with a short name. Maybe, just maybe, an ox. Which explains why he can’t listen to more than one Psychedelic Furs song at a time.
Actually it doesn’t explain it to you, the reader, but in fairness, if it did, there would be no reason for this story to continue and you’d be out the next few minutes of bliss.
Perhaps bliss is too strong a word. I guess I’ll just have to plow ahead and let you be the judge.
Anyway. Ed was a large man with a large heart, in both physical size and emotional depth. He had a hair trigger when it came to anger and a hair trigger when it came to grief and pretty much every other reaction he had to inter-personal stimuli vibrated between these two like a drunken hula dancer with an inner-ear problem. He had wept during fights and could never bring himself to attend a school reunion for fear he’d strangle someone.
Ed had been divorced twice and both women still dearly loved him but leapt at the chance to depart the rollercoaster the first chance they felt it slow down and the bar sitting across their chest relax enough for them to wiggle out. The fact that this might give you a visual similar to a drunken hula dancer is just a happy coincidence.
I didn’t get that visual but I can see how it could happen.
Ed is often misunderstood.
So the question remains, what to do with a character like Ed? The story is half done and yet I’ve come no closer to explaining why he can’t listen to more than one Psychedelic Furs song at a time. Like in life, Ed is filled with such promise that fate, if you want to call the author of a story deciding what to do with a character fate, could lead him down so many paths as to be mundane. Cliché.
Of course, if you’re a Psychedelic Furs fan, you are already taking Ed by the hand and throwing him in the most unbelievable of circumstances. Places where his strength and frailties can be on full display without making him the tragic hero. Or a hero at all.
Maybe every now and then I should write something where it’s assumed the reader loves Psychedelic Furs music and leave it at that. People who are either unfamiliar with or not impressed by the musical stylings of Richard Butler may be left feeling a bit put out but it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve left readers feeling that way. At least this time I can feel like I have an excuse.
The problem is that I am nothing if not a professional and if I go around insinuating that a reader is going to feel bliss while reading a story, then I can’t help but feel an obligation to provide the aforementioned whether they own every Psychedelic Furs album or not.
So what to do with Ed for the non- Psychedelic Furs fan…
I’ve got it. I will examine, as truthfully as I feel comfortable doing, whether or not I am writing from the perspective of Ed. Obviously I didn’t go into this story intending to express some secret sentiment under the guise of Ed, but if you’ve taken any psychology classes, which I‘ve really intended to do on many occasions, it’s common knowledge that many writers explore their subconscious desires through third persons of their own creation. A classic example would be my story “Philip Wishes He Had A Bigger Penis” from my as-yet unpublished book “Why Can’t I… I mean Andrew… Have Multiple Orgasms?”
In this case, I don’t think I’m Ed. I am not large in stature and I am for the most part emotionally disconnected. I mean I am taller than most but I am a weakling and occasionally I will cry at the end of movies, but I’m also the guy who stepped over a man having a heart attack on the Atlantic City boardwalk without breaking stride or feeling any desire to look back.
I couldn’t be less Ed-like if I tried.
Am I trying? Is that what you want to know? Is that why I avoid lifting weights or making friends?
Careful, you non- Psychedelic Furs-liking reader. Keep up this line of inquiry and I will turn it back on you so fast it will make your head spin.
You’re still thinking about that guy on the boardwalk, aren’t you? Or are you wondering why you look like a hula dancer with an inner-ear infection when you try to dance or why the only time you try and dance is when you’re drunk?
You really want to know why Ed can’t listen to more than one Psychedelic Furs song at a time? You want bliss? Do you think it’s a coincidence that you’re reading this right now? Do you think it’s a fluke that you want to go back and reread this?
Ed, Ed, Ed… it’s time you listened to Mirror Moves.