Commentary 8: Eight Days A Week

For some reason I’m drawing a complete blank in trying to write an introduction to the commentary for this chapter, so I guess I’ll just jump right in with the tidbits.

  • I’ve always been partial to the brilliant simplicity of “and/or” when I write. Surprisingly it only shows up three times in the final draft, though I’m sure it used to be more.
  • Important to note that the narrator takes a (very) slight pause here to ponder if it’s possible to save his sister while keeping Nelson in her life. Deep down he knows his hatred for Nelson is irrational, but at this point he still doesn’t really know why.
  • The narrator’s backyard originally resembled my own childhood backyard only as a placeholder. I had every intention of fully fictionalizing it later on. But the thought of my parents reading the book and then going outside to check the back left corner of the “real” doghouse was too hilarious not to leave in there. (They never did check since there was snow on the ground at the time, but my Mom did admit she thought about it…)
  • How does dual memory syndrome work? Basically the narrator “lived” the version where he did kiss the girl. His older self later changed that on a time travel trip we learn about later, making it true that he did not. Memories powered by mental time travel transcend both real time and “altered” time, so he has this psychic memory link with past versions of himself who both did and did not kiss the girl, hence the confusion. (We’ll get into this more later…)
  • The reader probably expects him to go back to try to watch himself make out with the girl, so I intentionally didn’t do that to avoid predictability.
  • “Yellow matter custard” was a lot harder to fit in than I thought it would be.
  • The dog had a name in an early draft, but it was dropped under the “no names means no names” rule.
  • Some music references happen by accident. The “invisible bridge” line was supposed to be a nod to an album by the Silver Jews, but I was actually misremembering their album “The Natural Bridge.” (or maybe I had dual memory syndrome…) However, it turns out there are actually two different albums with “Invisible Bridge” as a title.
  • The card game was originally Cassino, but so many people either didn’t know the game or thought I was spelling it wrong I changed it.
  • “…her name is not of your concern.” At this point I’m really starting to have fun with “almost” naming characters.
  • Like most mothers, my mother is fond of saying “the name of the game is fun” and “because I’m the mother.” She has never uttered the phrase “the past is still the past” prior to the release of this book though, which should be evidence enough that she is not the Mom character in the book.
  • “You better run, motherf@#$er” is a reference to something a bartender yelled at one of my college roommates when he was caught removing a chair from a bar via the back door. Here it’s used to foreshadow the temper of the father character (who, incidentally, is not based on my real father).
  • Nate Pepper strongly dislikes the phrase “fingered the neck bruise,” which is odd coming from the guy who coined the phrase “all seven digits” referenced earlier.
  • There are 18 known musical references in this chapter, tied for fourth lowest.

Read Chapter Eight Online

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