This morning I’ve been thinking about an episode from my university days.
My friend Mike were roommates, and we both took a “Film & Literature” course. One of our assigned readings was a story called The Mountain Lion by Jean Stafford. I had read it a little before the deadline, but Mike decided to leave it until the night before, so he’d shut himself up in his room to burn through it. Periodically he’d emerge for a snack or to tell me how much he disliked the story (a lot). Here’s the Amazon summary:
Eight-year-old Molly and her ten-year-old brother Ralph are inseparable, in league … against the world of authority and perhaps the world itself. One summer they are sent from the genteel Los Angeles suburb that is their home to backcountry Colorado, where their uncle Claude has a ranch. There the children encounter an enchanting new world—savage, direct, beautiful, untamed—to which, over the next few years, they will return regularly, enjoying a delicious double life. And yet at the same time this other sphere, about which they are both so passionate, threatens to come between their passionate attachment to each other….Youth and innocence are hurtling toward a devastating end.
Warning: Spoilers Follow! I mean the book is like 71 years old but I feel obligated to warn anyway
On one of Mike’s appearances he stood in my doorway and angrily declared that the only way he wanted this to end was with the brother killing the sister, simply because he disliked the story so much. I didn’t say anything, because that’s exactly what happens; I’m a little hazy on the details, but essentially the brother ends up shooting his sister in the wilderness on a hunting trip or something. A little later Mike yelled “YES” from the next room and I knew he’d gotten his wish. We laughed about his prediction coming true and discussed the story a little afterward.
The next day, in class, the professor began to talk about the story and excitedly praised the ending, claiming there was “no way anybody could have predicted the ending.”
You should have seen Mike and me light up and look at each other, but neither of us said anything. I guess nobody would have believed us anyway.
Thing I Saw Yesterday: A very good episode of “Would I Lie To You?”, one of those British panel shows that is a rare thing; comedy that both Lori and I laugh at.
Thing I Learned Yesterday: How to do an F# on a ukulele. It’s way up on frets I never use! What’s up with that! And I’m supposed to go D -> F# -> Bm for this song? Seriously??
I’m Grateful For: A much calmer 2nd half of the week. Seriously, I was ready to quit everything on Tuesday, but I’ve been much more well-adjusted (and sleeping properly, which I think was a big part of the problem).