None of my characters (16 so far) have names. Instead they are identified by how they identify themselves – does that make sense?
An excerpt from the blank book itself:
I don’t know how I got to where I am today. This was supposed to be the job of a lifetime, something I’d be proud to write about after I retire. Instead, I’m bone tired of the world and all of the trouble it breeds. I’ve seen everything bad and very little good. Even the good is never purely good, because everything is corrupted by something. Beautiful forests are clouded by smog, tribal villages are being turned into tourist traps, to say nothing of the former empires becoming literal trash heaps.
That’s just the land. People are the greatest tragedy. Every assignment brings its own set of challenges, but it’s the people I meet that never leave my mind. Widows struggling to make ends meet after their husbands have been killed in a meaningless war, children abandoned because of their gender, entire cities of people working for the same factory to pay back a massive rebuilding debt. The good ones do die young, and the bad never get caught.
So many times I could have reported corruption! But who would listen? Most of the time it was the authorities behind the evil, and there was no one to challenge their power. My editor threatened my job once when he discovered that I was checking into the other business dealings of a resort owner in the Caribbean. He said that if I went any further he would cut me off and leave me to take the consequences of investigating Mr. Jones. I let that one alone since I didn’t have a name established enough to fall back on. It’s not a choice I’m proud of.
Another time I had solid evidence of a hotel that used slaves purchased – purchased! – on the black market to clean the rooms and tend the landscaping. I also suspected that the young girls were assigned to certain visiting dignitaries’ rooms for other purposes, but that was impossible to prove without the girls’ testimony, and it appeared that they had been ordered to stay away from the other guests, especially Americans. I tried going to the authorities with my evidence, but they warned me to back off, saying that it was fairly easy to get lost in the mountains, and with it being hunting season – ‘accidents’ happen…. I would have expected something like that in South America or even Asia, but this was in a wealthy European nation!
There have been other times, other places, other crimes, but it all comes back to greed in the end. And I’ve been too afraid to do anything about it.
I’m just so tired of this world. Sometimes I find myself wondering what it would be like to disappear into life among the population of whatever city I’m assigned to next. To walk away from the stress, the deadlines, the jet lag. To get back into life instead of just watching it from an outsider’s perspective. Would that mean that I’d become part of what I just wrote about despising? I don’t know anymore.
I’m going to Seattle next week to check out a restaurant featuring a new menu of coffee-based entrees. I’ll pass this along there.
Thoughts, opinions, and critiques are gladly taken.