AKA, "The Chapter Where Cassie Gets Mugged Seemingly Out of Nowhere And You're All Left Wondering WHY?"
PS- If you haven't read TPG yet, this is sorta spoilery, so... consider yourself warned.
PSS- Also, if you haven't read it yet... what the hell are you waiting for?
PPSS- I mean, this is Jack F'n Carter we're talking about here. GET ON THAT TRAIN! CHOO CHOO!
I get a lot of grief over Chapter 11 in The Perfect Game. A lot of people want to know WHY on earth I wrote that scene into the book. They don't understand what the point of it was... why did I even put it in there?
And a lot of people really dislike it. They think it was pointless, out of place, random, weird, totally unrealistic, unbelievable, etc.
I should have written this blog post a long time ago, but i'm writing it now. I want to talk a little about that scene and why I included it into Jack & Cassie's story.
I realize that to the reader, that scene probably came out of nowhere. Most of you read it, scratched your head and wondered wtf just happened and why?!
I know how random the whole thing seemed. But you have to understand, that when it happened to me, it was just as random. The guy came out of nowhere and beat the living shit out of me as the guys I were with scattered. The only difference between what happened to me and what happened to Cassie was, I wasn't carrying a camera. That person didn't rob me of anything that night (except maybe my naive sense of security when you're that close to campus and surrounded by athletes).
When he first hit me, I was completely shocked. I literally stood there, whipped my head back at him and stared like, "you did not just hit me." So for good measure, he did it again. I remember that I did not get angry. I didn't scream, shout, cry, or say anything. And it never even once fucking occurred to me to fight back. I'm not kidding. My brain filled with stupid things like, "this is not happening. he is not hitting me right now. why is he hitting me? why won't he stop? this really fucking hurts. my god, stop hitting me already."
And the fact that I reacted like that, pissed me off. I mean, later, it pissed me off. Because if you know anything about me, you'd probably bet money that I'd fight back- or get angry immediately and defend myself from the crazy. I wouldn't just sit there and let some random dude beat the piss out of my face.
But I did.
And I hate that.
Instead of reacting while it happened, I went into a state of shock. I didn't act out, I simply tried to cover my head while living in the land of disbelief. It's annoying, really and I'm a little embarrassed if you want to know the truth. Because I want to be way more bad ass than that. lol
Anyway, the guy was never caught, never arrested, never seen again by my eyes (not that I would have recognized him anyway). When the cops asked me if i could identify him, I did tell them that I could recognize his fist and that was about it. The parts of that scene were written from my memory as vividly as I could recall. The 40-ounce bottle breaking over someone's head and shattering as he fell to the ground, really happened as well. My hair sticking to my eyelashes and lipstick... God, I remember that I actually put hairspray in my hair that day (and I NEVER use hairspray), so it kept sticking to my face everytime he hit me. It would block my view. It's weird the little details and things that you associate with events.
So, yes... it was a seemingly random part of the story. But then again, it wasn't. When I was reliving some of my college experience and my past to write this book, I knew I needed to include this piece of my story in Jack & Cassie's. I added the fictional parts to help make it more... believable? Or to give some context to Jack being so over-protective, him being able to buy her a new camera (keeping his promise and caring about her future goals) and being so angry at his teammates (and then being able to forgive them as well).
The Perfect Game, in essence, is a story about forgiveness.
I hope this sheds some new light on that chapter for you. Even though it's still sort of random in its placement, you see now that I think life is sort of random... shit happens when you least expect it and that's just the way it is. I write from my heart and pieces of me are in every story I tell. I never want that to change.
Thank you for reading.