Scribbler’s Saga #80 – The Pattern On The Floor

Posted: February 20, 2019 in Uncategorized

My probable sister’s dog, I’m just sort of posting this…

© 2019 G.N. Jacobs

Sometimes you get news that puts you on the floor. I even had to ask people if they were sitting down when I told them. Realizing how much fear attaches to that opener, I quickly added “in a good way.” A woman contacted me, she might be my biological sister curious to see how I turned out. WHAM! Kiss the floor, Ducky!

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t write about this big moment saving it for my memoirs. There are writing takeaways here so it counts. I’ve written semi-consciously about my adoption and the emotional needs it can create for years at this point, so landing on the floor forces me to acknowledge the pattern in my writing. I am slightly irked that I just validated every stereotypical psychoanalyst going “ah-ha!”

First, a hopefully short version of the narrative of the recent days. I get a Facebook friend request. It’s a woman. I give female accounts a few minutes going over mostly to filter out come ons for what I term “Russian Hooker Bride” sites. She passes this scrutiny, really just checking to see if she has other friends and something that looks like the verisimilitude of life. I accept the request.

Then we move over to Messenger. The lady in question sends a message leading with her email address and cell phone number. She explains that she believes she’s my biological sister. She gives enough detail in the close enough to allow for memory to go bad over time or maybe the record keeping at the hospital was slightly inaccurate category. Curious, I keep her texting.

Over the span of this discovery, pretty much she says enough things that largely jibe with the things my parents always told me. Young kids in school fighting their way through a serious PhD program unable to care for me. My parents thought UCLA, but USC and CalTech are close enough (memory can go slightly bad).

My presumed sister mentions Childrens Home Society, the adoption agency. She confirms Hollywood Community Hospital when I led with that tidbit (a more suspicious person might not want to do this). The date the parents remember versus the date on my birth certificate comes out as close enough. More importantly, we start trading photos.

I see enough resemblance to the father around the eyes. I fit the general pattern of my presumed younger brother that others assert more lookalike than I wanted to admit. I see more resemblance to my new friend and presumed sister once I get to see her real in the wild photos compared to her gussied up and totally adorable profile photo. It would take a cruel twist of the one in a thousand “worthy of the movie Laura” variety for the DNA to come back negative. But, we’re still doing the test; we both understand the Russian proverb hijacked by Reagan – “trust but verify.”

The reveal sparked a little need for hand holding on both ends of this family. My mom had a delayed freak out about me leaving her. My presumed sister’s parents gave her a little side eye over the fact that she started this rollercoaster. I got through my moment with Mom telling her, “You’d have to shoot my dog or something for me to even think like that.” My Maybe Sister (our current pet name appellation for each other until the test comes back) will comment on her blogs and pages how she handled her parents.

At this point, you, the average Dear Readers are twirling fingers, checking watches and maybe shouting, “get on with it!” The writer takeaway stems from me previously saying to my parents, “nah, I don’t really want to find my birth parents, it might be emotionally confusing.” A bald-faced lie of the self-deception variety.

How much did I lie to myself here? My recent writing wallows in repeated variations of the Separated Twins/Reunited Siblings tropes. I do mean repeated as in, “get on with it!”

Do you want to hear about the, now destroyed first version of Crimes Against Elves? The protagonist is whisked away to a fantasy realm where she defends the evil wizard in a war crimes trial. She has an older sister left behind betrothed to the king prosecuting the case. Love triangle results until the older sister reveals she much prefers to jump on the good wizard in the story.

The in progress newer version with gender switched characters to buy more goodwill from the reason why the first version had to go bye-bye deepens the sibling conflict. The fantasy queen whisked away to Earth while pregnant takes over from the now dead woman who is her local doppelgänger attempting to take over as step-mother to another boy. This older brother exists as a plot foil and tool of various antagonists to obstruct the war crimes trial until the truth reveals. Duh-duh-dun.

Or perhaps for your reading pleasure you like The Magellan Saga? A space emperor in the human areas of the Greater Magellanic Cloud fights for his people while often trading places with his long lost identical twin, really a body part clone allowed to escape into the wild. Much mayhem of a style that Shakespeare and Rafael Sabatini might approve ensues (FYI Shakespeare traded on sibling and twin switching several times in his plays, but he was trying to be funny and I’m not that overtly funny). Fitting since I pitch it as Julius Caesar meets The Corsican Brothers filtered through the lens of Star Wars.

And in the sort of similar diagonal bank shot types of stories let’s count on our fingers how many times I’ve busted out the diagonally related elements of clones finding a place among the world. Sex bots grown from unused fertility embryos grow into their womanhood and force actual ethics of how said sex bots are employed, almost a pro-union story in some respects. Other sex bots cloned from a woman captured by aliens that rise up to free their clone mother and themselves in the background behind a lethal cross country race. And a kill bot of unknown origin that falls in love with a widower and helps Earth fight off enemies it didn’t know existed.

Okay, the repetition gets a little thin in the later examples but a tiny element of needing to know about where I come from plays out though all these pitches likely to be novels…eventually. From this we…I, it’s my freakin’ story, have to understand that while I just landed on the floor, I did just acknowledge that sometimes we write from the place of our great need or core wound. Yes, I just validated a lot of psycho-babble “ah-ha,” but the ink landed on the page that way. Own it.

Of course, I’ve only touched on one element of my work. Other essays, if I decide to care, might highlight some of the conflicts that have nothing to do with adoptions or siblings. Another one would definitely analyze the use of cars in my work. Which brings us in a weird circle back to the subject of this post, the inevitable Luke and Leia jokes…

I made such jokes where Maybe Sister can see, but like many people I also found far more fun in Han Solo: cool, shot first and has the awesome car. But, never mind, this post is going on too long. I was adopted. I needed to write about it and now we go get lunch. That means you, Dear Reader. Go home!

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