I finished Richard’s Story, which is Richard Daybell’s story because he provided the inspiration for it by holding a mirror up to my words so I could see them better. It was also Lucy’s story. I had to get the end out so I could return to my real life and my husband. I made revisions this morning because last night’s conclusion was written in a rush. The version that appears in the Reader, if you are a subscriber, is probably not the final edit. If you would like to read the superior revised end, please read here.
I don’t usually yammer on about the process because describing the process seems pretentious, to me, and because the way my mind works is my business. This story offered a lot of revelations. I started with one brief fact from my experience and others emerged. My best friend in the whole world commented that she was pleased to read that I was having fun with my past, which is not what I usually do with it.
I grew up in a coastal town during tough times. There were canisters of hash found on the beach. I smoked, and inhaled, a fair amount of it. The phone call to the IRS regarding the profits from smuggling did happen. Ironically, the man who is rumored to have made the call was later tried in federal court and received a $5,000 fine for his illegal business venture. He’s pretty old now and a pillar of the community. Time changes all of us. The fishermen were frantically trying to make a living and they were true victims of circumstance. The story made the papers and the smuggling-friendly atmosphere on the coast made High Times magazine.
Geoff is a real gay man. He is funny and wry. I had neighbors in San Diego who were a gay couple. One of them was a black naval officer. I chose not to make his character black because it seemed gratuitous. They were wonderful people who were true to their hearts in a world that was neither kind nor understanding.
I once knew a former Navy SEAL who slept in a tree in Coronado. He was handsome. There was no romance.
One of the most venerable boatbuilding companies in the world foundered in successive economic downturns and was purchased by a private equity firm. It was a sad day for boatbuilders and the people who admire them.
Numbnuts and Numbnuts II are not a real dogs. I have been acquainted with dogs who were closet drinkers.
Ambrose’s character is based on a family friend. We were always good friends and we drank copious amounts. I have never been in love with him nor he with me.
Thank you for taking the time to read Richard’s Story.