I’ve got about fifty pages of yellow legal paper that have been sat on my bedside table, all of them relating to Harry Hicks’ backstory. It’s been in my head since I wrote it down three or four years ago, but it’s been ages since I’ve actually read it.
I’m looking forward to reading it, and I was just sorting through them getting the pages into order before I started to type it all up… when I found a page in amongst it all that didn’t quite belong. It’s just five simple pieces of speech, no narrative just dialogue, and it goes a little like this:
“I can’t do this anymore, Mary. I’m not who you think I am.”
“Who do I think you are?”
“Joe. The boy you grew up with. The boy who made love to you in that tree house. The man you married. I’m not him. I can’t be any of those things any more.”
“What do you mean? What happened?”
“That war happened! Those guns, the blast. All that blood. I watched my best friend die. He got a gunshot wound in the leg. He should have survived, but he bled out, died right there on the ground in front of me. All I could think was thank God it wasn’t me. Thank God. I felt so lucky. He was the lucky one. He’s already dead… we’re all still dying.”
I’d love to know what I was thinking of when I wrote this down… and why I never revisited it. I have no recollection of ever jotting those words down, but it’s definitely my messy scrawl.
I’m so intrigued by it, there’s so much history in there, so much story waiting to be tapped. I’m also a little unimpressed with my lack of imagination when it came to naming the characters – Mary and Joe? Maybe this is all that remains of a lost biblical epic.