The following story is part one of a new feature, the serialization of our columnist Wayne Weedon’s fictional work, Vector. Wayne is a brilliant writer whose style consists of simple declarative statements that stick in your mind as he leads you through an intricate web of circumstances to reach the lesson he set out to teach.
Vectors: Forces Which Have Direction, is a romance with no sex. This story, which is based on real life events, is about a young girl’s coming of age. In our modern world we are inundated with the likes of Peter Nygård, Jimmy Savile, Bill Cosby, Russell Williams, and Jeffrey Epstein. We are continually reminded of the evil in our world, and we have the tendency to forget that, despite the rarity, we still have individuals in our society who are truly selfless, altruistic, and who act with no ulterior motive. Besides being a recipe for the world to decrease evil and increase the glories of peace and co-operation, this story is a reminder that some people are indeed good.
In this story I have mentioned Neil Postman's book, Amusing Ourselves to Death. Although published in 1985, this book is still pertinent today. There is a tendency for people who have read this book to stop watching television and to turn off their smartphones. Why? One needs to read this book to understand why.
Chapter 1, Girl Needs Help
Even when your life becomes so miserable you can’t stand it anymore, never give up. What a difference a few weeks can make. My life has spun around so fast it makes me dizzy just thinking about it. I’ve come to learn the enjoyment of life.
In my former life my biggest dilemma was choosing what kind of tattoo I wanted, and where to put it so it would be hidden from my Evangelical Christian family. This would be easy; my parents have never allowed me to wear any skimpy clothing. But I also had to put it someplace where it would be peaking out as I cruised the hallways at university. The boys would be thinking it to be sexy. The girls, with clenched teeth, would be telling me how much they loved my new tattoo. It made me chuckle just thinking about it. I never did get a tattoo, and today, a tattoo is the last thing I want. I shudder to think how close I came to getting one. I had already made an appointment to have it done, and I had put a deposit on it. I showed a picture of my tattoo to my boyfriend and told him it would be placed just above my butt, where, if I wore the right clothes, the tip of it would be hinting at what’s below.
To my astonishment, he reacted violently, “Just above your butt? What the hell.” he shouted, “Do you know what they call those? Tramp-stamps; tramp-stamps … tramp-stamps, that’s what they call them. You wanna look slutty? Take my advice, put it on a proper place, like your arm, or above your boob, not some place where it makes you look cheap.”
“Don’t you get it?” I shouted back, “I have to hide it from my family and my friends back home. Don’t you know what would happen if my parents ever saw it?”
“Do you think I care about your f’n parents? It’s time you stood up to them. You’re twenty years old, damn it. Giv’em the finger and tell em to F, right, off.”
I couldn’t understand why he would be so upset; he had several tattoos including a very lewd one just below his belly button. We had a lengthy shouting match culminating in him marching out of my apartment.
We had been seeing each other for two years and he spent more time in my bed than his. I shared my apartment with two other girls who were much the same as me. Their boyfriends also spent the night on a regular basis. Nobody in our apartment building seemed to notice, and besides, we paid the rent, so I don’t think anyone had the right to complain about what we did, so long as it wasn’t disturbing them.
My boyfriend and I have now broken up and I’m living with a man almost twice my age, but sex is out of the question with this new man in my life. He will have no part of it. But I truly love him, and I know he really cares about me. Somehow, we have a different kind of love, a kind I previously never knew existed. I realise now I never loved my ex. In fact, I now realise I never even liked him. I hate his controlling attitude. Somehow though, until now, I couldn’t leave him. Was it because my father was always so controlling, and I just got into the habit of being controlled? I don’t know.
Until just a short while ago, I spent much of my time on my smartphone. I was constantly texting or competing with my girlfriends at Candy Crush. Nobody could come close to my score, and it infuriated them. Now I have my smartphone turned off and I have no intention of ever turning it back on. I don’t miss any of my cyber-friends.
My life changed soon after I hired my new tutor, Mr. Leigh Graham. I was never very good at mathematics, or anything related to it, and I passed physics in high school only by getting extra help from my physics teacher. Just before the final exam he gave me a set of questions with detailed answers to study. Some of these questions were identical to what was on the exam. Even with this extra help, my final mark wasn’t much above a passing grade.
At university, I am now working towards a degree in biochemistry, and I need to pass physics in order to graduate. Why do I need physics? As far as I can tell, it has nothing to do with chemistry.
I was never good at any form of logic, but I can easily remember facts, which helps in studying biochemistry. Could I get my university physics professor to give me the same help as my high school physics teacher? No, I don’t think so. This professor has been neither impressed with my helpless pleas, nor even my sexy come on. This man is all business, he just wants correct methods and answers from me. This is why I hired Mr. Graham; in the hope he could help me out.
The very first lesson I had with my new tutor we did not work at all. He only wanted to talk. I answered all his questions about my personal life including the fact I shared an apartment with two other girls, and I had a steady boyfriend. He told me he needed to know where I was coming from and what language I was speaking. I thought, how lame is that? I told him I’m from Winkler and I have always spoken just English. I couldn’t understand what he was getting at. I figured he might be some type of pervert.
In my second session, we started with algebra and trigonometry. He began by explaining how the Chinese were the first to use trigonometry for the navigation of ships in order to circumnavigate the globe. From my history classes I knew that wasn’t true. He went on with other weird stories. I told him, these stories were irrelevant, and I had already passed math in high school, and I just wanted to learn physics. I figured I was just wasting my money on him. He told me he needed to understand who I was in order to properly teach me, and he needed assurance that I understood the foundations of mathematics before we could get into physics. Also, he guaranteed his services; if I wasn’t happy with the results, I didn’t have to pay him.
(Continued next month: Out with the Old and in with the New. )