Today I reached the part about Betty in my fifth draft of the Galveston ghost story. And each time I get to that part I end up asking myself if perhaps I care more about Betty than about any of the other characters. Do I like Betty best? Or perhaps it’s just easiest to slip into her skin, easier than it is with Suzanne, whose life in 1900 is harder for me to imagine, or with Katie who is so young. Or maybe it’s just the way Betty sits on her front porch at night feeling lonely yet surrounded by the beauty of her garden, maybe it’s the way she tries to get lost in the simple exercise of watching the reflections of light on soap bubbles or in the condensation of a glass. Perhaps out of my characters in the new novel, Betty is the loneliest, but also the most resourceful about her loneliness.
It was only fitting that tonight I’d end up having dinner with the friend who inspired the Betty story – who actually is neither lonely nor melancholic, but then again, she would be Edna in the story, not Betty. We went to Indianola, and it was quite lovely. I can’t decide if I liked my grilled peach and mascarpone dessert best, or the cream of corn my steak came on, or perhaps the crab dip. It’s also always fun to be in EaDo and we decided that we must return soon and explore.
I also went back to the gym today after two days of absence, and it feels so good! Tomorrow I shall go again. Right after my morning incursion into the complex and fascinating world of Betty.