Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Jack Erslager, one of the main characters in East Garrison, and somewhat the antihero, has captured the attention of a few members of my writers' group. Jack's a homeless wandering messiah in search of the truth, and a rubber tramp, or one who lives in his vehicle driving from place to place. He believes he's found "the truth" in the mystical swastika symbol, numerology, and hieroglyphs. He discovered magical properties in the number nine (9 points in the cross). He lives in his van with his German shepherd, Blondie, and sees ghosts in the form of, amongst other things, his prior U.S. Major Army General Fritzsche, who is a Nazi. Fritzsche barks orders at Jack in German as he pops Benzedrine inhalers. Jack smokes pot and hand-rolled cigarettes. He doesn't eat much. And he's growing marijuana in an unexploded ordnance range area of Fort Ord. His daughter's married to a federal cop who finds his plants. I don't want to tell much more about the plot for those who haven't read the book yet, but Jack is a character who doesn't want to die, metaphorically speaking. This is so much the case that in another book, a continuation of East Garrison, I've developed a new character named Randy who is a former buddy of Jack's. Randy also has a dog and is somewhat homeless, but his dog is a white Samoyed named Garfish. One writer in my group thinks Randy is too much like Jack, but he's not, at all. He'll give me the opportunity to get into Jack's background more, vicariously, through Randy, who in many ways is the opposite of Jack. So, for your pleasure, I've put up a picture of "Jack," the antihero of East Garrison.