Oh, Davey. Dear Davey, Dude, I am so sorry. I will make it up to you, I swear. Love, Kris.
I’m an escapist writer. Always have been. My nonfiction is generally loved and adored by people who know me, almost none of whom have ever read a word of my fiction (and it’s not all porn, people; my loved ones don’t read the tame stuff, either). I can’t stand writing nonfiction. I write fiction to find the rushing river at the heart of all stories, and nonfiction doesn’t let me get there.
I don’t like writing characters who resemble me in obvious ways, and Davey, Davey’s all gender-fucked and inexperienced and searching, and that was me all over some time ago. (Or last week. Or next week. You know, whenever.)
This is a good time to note there will probably spoilers.
Also, Davey was a sacrificial lamb. I knew he wasn’t gonna get a happy ending, and in the first draft of this book I shied away from writing him. I intertwined the two plotlines; Will and Davey riding high and crashing, and Hugh and Truman also crashing, but with a very different outcomes. (Mind you, I also did Davey’s point of view, which was awesome. Any opportunity to view Will and the boyfriends from the outside is a good fucking time for this scribbler.) But Roller Coasters is Will’s story. He’s the nucleus, the source.
The gorgeous thing about Will Derrie is that he rides his own emotions like a roller coaster, but he also rides everyone else’s. I wrote last week, I think, about him in some sense co-opting Molly’s emotions in Breaking Down. In RC he consciously tries not to take on Davey’s and instead plays Xbox and drinks beer until Hugh knocks on his door in the rain.
I love Davey’s agency in this book, even if it’s devastating. I love the affirmation of Hugh and Truman, and the inclusion of Will inside their relationship. I love Hugh keeping “in fact, I’m rich” as his dirty little secret and blindsiding Truman with it only after they decide to get married. It’s fumbling and ridiculous and perfectly Hugh.
But Davey. Shit. We’ll see Davey again, I swear. I can’t just leave him hanging…
Featured image is Looff Carousel and Roller Coaster on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk by Teemu008 on Flickr. I once spent a summer working food services in the shadow of the Giant Dipper. (If you ordered a dip cone in the summer of 2000, I tip my hat to you. I’d’ve been the kid with the notebook stashed off to the side while you were ordering.)