Saturday, April 14, 2007

People change

I got a MySpace message from my friend Spencer this morning, and I'd have to say that I'm still kind of reeling from it. When we were in high school, we had a friend, who we'll call "D." Now D was a nice kid...shy, kind of quiet...a little weird (but so were most of my friends.) He was one of those people you knew you could always count on, provided his mother would actually let him out of the house.

The message was a link to information about D's criminal record. Apparently he was arrested for attempted sexual assault! It's still hard for me to believe, because he never really seemed like the type, but I guess it shows you that people can and do change over time. It also makes you realize that everyone is capable of violence. No matter how much we've evolved, there's still enough of the wild in us that we can be capable of horrible acts against one another. Most of us are able to control those urges, but they're always right there below the surface.

Maybe that's why as a writer, I like to create characters that are flawed. Many of my protagonists seem to be on the verge of doing something horrible almost all the time.

As I think about D, I wonder how much of this is a result of the way he was brought up. His mother was domineering and tried to control almost every aspect of his life. Maybe if she would have lightened up a bit and let him live, he wouldn't have turned out this way. Still, no matter what his mother did, it was still his choice to commit this crime, and as a result he bares all responsibility for it.

I'm still in shock!


Marva said...

That's right. Blame the mom. Did he have a missing or inept father we could point at instead?

Sorry to hear about your friend's seeming change in personality. Then again, was the criminal record a conviction or was he still innocent until proven guilty?

J Erwine said...

His mom was a nut case, and yes, his father was absent...don't really even know much about him.

He was convicted. I think he's currently doing time.