Passing Thoughts

Dearest Rachel –

After writing you yesterday’s letter, I was surprised (although perhaps I shouldn’t have been, given how my mind works sometimes) to find myself coming up with possible scenes that could go into a story about the two of us as well as my attempts to cope with being on my own – and the fact that I don’t want to be on my own. Some scenes are simply a matter of remembering and recording what happened in our thirty years together (especially in the beginning, and leading up to the end), others would be dramatizations not unlike that teleplay about the Lonz winery disaster that we couldn’t help laughing at (as the Bass Islands aren’t the Napa Valley by any measurement), while some would simply take these letters and lay them out in some sort of manga-esque format.

The problem with all of these ideas is, of course, the fact that I’m no artist. I can probably write a decent story – and considering what I’ve been hearing about certain popular works making the rounds these days (I mentioned, if not by name, Kanojo, Okarishimasu or Rent-a-Girlfriend coming in for a particular amount of excoriation yesterday), a lot of people could do better than what exists out there – and even layout my be within my grasp, but actually drawing people and scenes is out of my wheelhouse. I could probably get help from AI, but I’m not sure about its ability to create a collection of characters and draw them consistently with multiple expressions and in various situations. I probably should study what’s been coming out in the last couple of months – I understand that there are extensions that allow one to specify poses in one’s text-to-image generations, so maybe it’s easier than I think it is – but at the moment, I’m torn as to how (or even whether) to go about something like this.

You might remember me dealing with this idea even back when I first quit my job, and decided to create an animation channel on YouTube, simply because, while putting my face online would have been an easier route by far, who wants to see that? The whole issue with creating animated avatars of ourselves (and while you never really wanted to put yourself out there, you saw nothing wrong with the girls, and especially Daniel, getting involved with the project) is that we’d actually have to create them, and none of us were particularly good at it. Well… not none of us; Erin was (and as far as I know, still is) fairly skilled at drawing, but she was better with backgrounds than characters. She also had (and still has) issues with her schedule, so getting together to work on anything was next to impossible.

Which is a bit of a shame, since, while I have all these ideas in my head, I feel like I can’t do much about them on my own. I really need to find someone I can work with on all of this; I just don’t know how to go about doing it – or if I really want to. For all I know, this idea, like so many others, is going to pass through my mind like a vapor, and be gone before I can act on it. Had I a little more skill, I could get into it and onto it, and turn out something regularly and faithfully, like these letters to you, but it’s much more likely that this idea will just evaporate in a matter of days or weeks without anything ever coming of it.

So why do I even mention it to you? Well, for one, I would tell you about most of my passing thoughts, back in the day (as you would to me), just for the sake of conversation. Sometimes, we would be drawn into the idea, and encourage the other to go for it; other times, we would be supportive, but admitting to not particularly interested in investing ourselves into it with the other. Sometimes, it was a way for the other to hold our feet to the fire, giving each other a chance to encourage and remind us: “what about this that you were planning to do?” Other times it was more an opportunity for advice: “does this seem like a good idea, or am I just dreaming here?” I could count on an honest, albeit gentle, answer from you; you would let me know if you thought I wasn’t likely to get anywhere with one idea or another.

I don’t have that voice of reason to reign me in anymore, and it’s starting to get to me. It’s weird to think that, theoretically, I could do literally anything I want, and there’s no one to stop me anymore aside from my own conscience. Just this morning, as I was driving to the ‘office,’ I was struck by a sudden urge to head to the airport and get a flight to… I honestly don’t know where, let alone why. The thing is, I could do it; I’ve got both the money and time, Daniel and Logan could probably take care of themselves, and the folks were out for the morning to get stitches out of Mom’s hand from her carpal tunnel surgery the other day. I could go, and do, whatever I wanted.

Sure, the moment passed, even while I was still driving, and I got settled in to do some ‘real’ work, but one of these days, who knows? Somewhere along the line, without someone to advise me if I’m about to step out of line, or encourage me to do something truly worthwhile, I may find myself doing something on impulse (then again, that’s usually what happens when I call my travel agent – “see if there’s something going to such-and-such a place, before I change my mind”), and regretting it. Then again, considering that one song you sent me back then, you might just be fine with that, and keep me from that regret. I can guarantee that, with you (or someone) at my side, I’d be a lot less likely to.

But for now, I’m going to try to stay on the straight and narrow. Either way, keep an eye on me, honey, and wish me luck. I’m going to need it.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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