In spite of Tuesday’s post, I actually do think there’s something therapeutic about driving. I’m not a particular fan of city driving, but when I’m tearing down a mountain road with people I care about, the rage can becomes my space ship, exploring new horizons with a band of lovable scalawags.

I don’t know. There’s something so intimate about the experience. 

And intimacy can help you relax. I’m not really a vacation kind of guy. My mind is constantly toiling away at some project or other. I’m a very goal oriented person, so relaxation doesn’t really come naturally to me unless I’m holding a PS4 controller, a comic book, or a craft beer, if I’m feeling particularly snooty.

But there’s something perfect about having a destination, constant activity working towards a goal, and simultaneously having a chance to unwind. Even if you’re not in the car itself, you’re stuck with your comrades, arm-in-arm on a journey that belongs not to you or me, but us. A shared experience. 

I like that…

Then again, I sympathize with parents or people like Stacy who get trapped with angsty teenagers. But it isn’t all bad, is it?

When we started Unlife, I wasn’t sure what to do with Stacy after the Chapter 1 break up. She was out of James’ life, so maybe I did plan for her to leave eventually. One unused idea was that Stacy worked in a bookstore. It was cute, paralleling James and his own arrested development, but upon development, we saw that Stacy was stuck in a different kind of hole than James. She was more than a foil for him, and definitely more than some sort of trophy for him to achieve. She was her own character, with wants and desires and a natural goodness. Maybe that’s why we kept her around. I can see what James saw in her. 

And by extension, what Jenners sees in her.

I’m not sure why, but these two characters have always had a natural rapport. I say “I’m not sure,” because really, if I’m not, who would be? Stacy and Jenners were both created in a writing vacuum, their chemistry never a planned element. Both were born of their relationships with James. One is a shadow of his old life, his most important relationship and the one he lost. The other was James’ shadow as only a sibling can be, following in his footsteps, jealous of all the relationships he had that eluded her. I guess it would make sense that Jenners would respect Stacy because James wanted to be with her. And it makes sense that Stacy would see shades of James in Jenners, from an earlier, maybe better, time, and that she’d want to protect that.

Or maybe they’re just really funny together. 

Is that weird? It’s kinda weird. I like talking about writing because, as I said, these characters were created in relation to James and his journey. But they roared to life and formed connections without ever asking me. The two had this sharp chemistry from the first time we put them in a scene together, leading Zack to say what we were both thinking: “We need more scenes with these two.”

But who ever has the time? We had to keep the story moving, and it kept their time together limited and short. I always wanted a chance to slow down and see the two interact on a more intimate level because… well, they were both created as James’ co-pilots on this journey. But they also deserved to have their own journey, including their own moments to relax.

Stacy meant it when she said she was leaving. She should. But if it not now, when do you find the time? When you have a constant goal you’re racing towards with no time to stop, maybe  you just have to make that moment happen yourself. 

Get yourself stuck with someone and just ride it out. 

Who knows. It could be nice.