New thought last night: the father-to-be was previously flirting with the imps in his head. Maybe, for the sake of making a story that is not just Meaningful but interesting (to me), I shall have the imps seduce him, and he will drive off a cliff.
Id est: he is conflicted about his feelings about becoming a father. (Isn’t he supposed to feel ebullient, or transcendent? Why is he having doubts? Does this mean that he doesn’t want to be a father, or that his ambivalence means he’s chosen the wrong path, and is going to be a horrible father?) He is not conflicted about primal urges. But in his overthinking, he crosses some wires and begins to see “clarity of feeling” as “truer” or more worth listening to and trusting.
The little imp whispers with malevolent glee things we know we shouldn’t do, which are often held safely and easily in check by inhibitions (the good, healthy kind), and sometimes people just turn their trust over to these imps. If the imp tells them that their ambivalence is actually a sign of stunted emotional intelligence and lack of sensation, and that they should drive over the guardrail on a freeway just to “feel” again, and if the person begins to actually believe the imp, then the person does indeed drive off a cliff. Which is much more dangerous than actually having a baby.
That said, I don’t want this to become entirely about cliffs and imps. But it sort of is, in a way, becoming just that. I need to go back and work on the mother-to-be next: I’ve got a handle on her neuroses, but not the flavor of her spirit & soul, her personality. How to take a pretty (not beautiful) woman who seems well-educated, intelligent, and well-balanced, and make her seem—not crazy—misguided. Terribly, woefully misguided. Without making her seem dumb. Or crazy—did I say that already?
I think I might need to take her for a stroll. Walk her through a few scenes of everyday life, a few moments of personal drama in her past, just to see who she is.
And dammit, those imps are meant to make the thing breathe a bit. The story’s got to have some life, for god’s sake. It’s getting so dreary with thought.
Sigh. Overthinking is what writers do. That’s my imp. Now I need to just go and write.
Smell ya later.