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by Nick May

 MINUTEMEN was a book I wrote that repeatedly caused my mom to ask, “How can you tell a story with no redemption?” She questioned whether or not it was even biblical to do so. I questioned whether or not I even cared. Regardless of my attempts to write stories with no moral or tidy sense of redemption, such elements often have a hard time staying buried for long within lines about real people in authentic situations. Even I couldn’t spin a yarn (knowingly or unknowingly) without some kind of inherent moral compass. Maybe you identify with one of the four dudes from my sophomore title. Just in case, here are 3 ways to tell if you’re irredeemable.
Your current life path was determined by a girl you no longer know.
This one is funny, because I assume it could pertain to a male or a female, but I hear more stories about girls attracting guys down ambitious roads that, at some point, bear a flagrant fork in their destinies. Think back for a moment. Are you sitting where you’re sitting today because some girl you liked was a part of something you might have never discovered without her? I think you’ll be surprised at how many of your life choices are a direct result of chasing teenage girls who now have kids that look half like what your potential child would have looked…
Somewhere back there, you chose beef stew over birthright.
Some of us may have taken the shorter route to satisfaction. Maybe we saw that long haul and decided it was just too much gas. Thom, John, Nate and Ezra (the book’s main characters) each display a piece of this mindset in their own way. Thom believes he’ll never love again, John believes he never should, Nate doesn’t even understand love, and Ezra, well he finds a way to have his stew and eat it too. In each of their cases, the boys give up meaningful commitments in favor of immediate belonging.
Your long-term plan looks more like an escape plan.
There’s a mess that you’re standing right in the middle of. You made it, now you’re making your bed in it. Maybe you didn’t even make the mess. Maybe you were born into it, like a pig in the pods, and that’s your excuse. Either way, you’ve probably uttered the phrase: “I’ll be so glad when I’m out of this town…this job…this relationship.” Trust me, no plan worth keeping is one that begins with you running away from something.
If there’s one thing MINUTEMEN did right, it’s scare folks. It may surprise you that I’ve never cast a shadow on the door of a strip club, or been inside a rundown beach motel where they’re cooking crystal meth for frisky hazwopers, but I know, first hand, that messy people most certainly exist, and they absolutely lead messy lives. A lot of us would call these kinds of bottom feeders irredeemable. I’ll let you judge for yourself.

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