Good Narrative Principles

Life in Paradise


Every day Jesse drives down the hill towards his job located on the outskirts of downtown Maui. It’s a nine to five job, meaning, every day Jesse’s commute take twice as long as it does on weekends. For the first few months after he moved, Jesse couldn’t get over the fact that here he was in paradise, stuck in a traffic jam. What a grand cosmic joke. Back home in Minnesota, Jesse’s friends and family imagine Jesse slogging back Mai Tais while they salt and shovel the snow. It’s become impossible to call home and complain about anything. His Thanksgiving trip home confirmed what he had suspected. His role is that of the guy who got out, like the prisoner who made the break and therefore keeps hope alive within the cell block. To talk about the traffic jam on 311 or the fetid air that settles over the valley when they burn the sugar cane fields is simply not allowed.

(Photo Credit: Tim Duch or Joan Albert)

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