I’ve heard it said that truth is stranger than fiction. I’m uncertain of how true that might be. I think the strangeness ascribed to truth is more a matter of expectation. We expect fiction to be strange. So we set aside disbelief and let the story take us away wherever the author wants us to go. At least, that’s the goal.
Truth stuns us when it jumps up in from of our disbelief. We shout, “That’s impossible!” But the entire time the truth we wish to deny is staring us in the face. Sometimes we believe in things intellectually only to find the truth very visceral. When that happens, our reaction can be more than we bargained for when we professed belief.
I’ve just finished a book entitled, Tracks. I began it last March, so you could say it is my pandemic project. It will be stepping out in print next week—and it will not be wearing a mask.
Tracks is four stories separated by time, space, and circumstance untied by a common character—Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Momo, Skunk Ape, Seeathik, or whatever you call it where you live. The book is an experiment in fiction for me. That’s because it has those big feet buried in the sands of truth.
The skeletons that the meat of the stories hang on are true, either told to me, gleaned from written reports, or unearthed from Native myth. I am tempted to tell you how this works and how I went about it, but that’s in the book too. Don’t want to spoil it.
I will say it was kindly reviewed by believers—at least so far. I admit to that I have taken liberties with descriptions of the settings and the people involved. I’m sure those who contributed will see themselves, but no one else will.
The book was great fun to write. I am a believer that a hairy, bipedal hominid stalks North America—the world really. But, I’m an intellectual believer. My eyes have not seen it and that presents me with an opportunity to experience that violent visceral rush of life that jumps up in your throat, steals your breath, and makes your heart hammer when it happens.
I know people who have had encounters say, Never Again! I respect that. Perhaps I will too. Until then, I want to put myself in places where I’m likely to encounter Sasquatch. I don’t know if that will help because I’ve lived in those places and have still come up empty. Three of the four stories in the book take in such places.
The odd story—the winter story, is unique. But, that’s for next time in another blog I’ll call Becoming Bigfoot.