Maybe I’ll go bald

I think I’ll go bald.

Seems all the rage.

Actors who were popular when they had hair are now bald, and still seem popular.

That would mean that I would have to shave my head.

But I grew a beard because I didn’t like shaving in the first place.

Image by Ben_Kerckx on Pixabay

Besides, it drove some bosses crazy while they tried to determine if I had broken some company rule.

Or I could develop male pattern baldness, which I think should have showed up by now, so that’s out.

So, I guess I’ll never have the chance to play one of those FBI types who shows up in a TV show after a shooting and whispers into their fist about a subject on the loose, or a Russian spy or a genie.

Maybe I can start a cooking show on TV and lecture the audience on how to boil water and become orgasmic when the water shifts from a gentle simmer to a rolling boil.

And tell them sternly to save a cup of the pasta cooking water.

Naa. To do that I’d have to buy a few thousand dollars of equipment, find a fishmonger, and develop a taste for wine.

The reason I’m thinking about this is that I’m writing a story called “The year the world came to Mount Jensen, Maine.”

It’s about a town that is facing significant changes, both personally and historically.

One of the characters who will confront perhaps the most severe changes is Henderson, the local diner owner. His full name is Bill Henderson, but no one calls him Bill, just Henderson.

That becomes an issue when one of  the new residents in town informs Henderson that he is a culinary dinosaur, and under her tutelage, he can become Chef Henderson. All he needs to do at the start is replace the iceberg lettuce in his salads and sandwiches with arugula or kale, use more lemon juice and olive oil emulsions, stop selling his breakfast special and offer fresh vegetable omelets and fruit pate instead.

There is some resistance. I want to frame this resistance with humor, which will be a challenge.

But this a story about resisting or confronting change.

The notion comes to a head when Henderson again connects with  Nola Jensen, the femme fatale and Helen of Troy of the story, who returns after decades of absence and seems to want to start where she left off.  I’ll leave it at seems.

Their discussion changes the story and kicks events toward completion.

What does Henderson want to tell Nola, after all this time?

I’m sorry I let you down. I’m sorry I hurt you. You were a handful, a fun one at times, others not so much, leading us in a direction I was too dumb to  see or neither of us was ready to follow.

He also wants to tell her to get over herself, that everyone at times has a hard time, but hers, with her family connections and relative wealth, might have been self-inflicted. He wants to tell her that she is a pain in the ass.

But he doesn’t.

What he tells her is something like this: We all change over time, grow, learn. Sometimes it hurts, sometimes a lot.

He tells her this while they are on a raft on the lake in the middle of the night. It is a scene that is a repeat of their youth. He tells her that yes, they are on the same lake on the same raft, underneath the stars, but that those are not the same stars, it is not the same lake and they are not the same people.

Everyone in the town has had hard times, he tells her, but it comes a time to move on from the pain – and I’m stealing this phrase from a friend – to move from recovery to discovery.

I don’t yet know how either character will react to that thought, whether they show any sense of lights going on.

But it will be fun to find out.

About michaelstephendaigle

I have been writing most of my life. I am the author of the award-winning Frank Nagler Mystery series. "The Swamps of Jersey (2014); "A Game Called Dead" (2016) -- a Runner-Up in the 2016 Shelf Unbound Indie Author Contest; and "The Weight of Living" (2017) -- First Place winner for Mysteries in the Royal Dragonfly Book Awards Contest.
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