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  • Writer's pictureEthan Hunt

Chapter 2: Borrowed

Updated: Apr 18, 2021

*Spoiler alert for Chapter 2: Borrowed


Me you wouldn't recall, for I'm not my former

It's hard when you're stuck upon the shelf

I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate

Perhaps that's what no one wants to see

- Pearl Jam, Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town


One liners

It's funny how one line in a song can stand above the rest of the lyrics, and sometimes convince us of the meaning of the song. I read Eddie Vedder's explanation of elderly woman, and it seems so obvious now, but I had previously misunderstood the song as being from the perspective of the visitor, not the elderly woman. This doesn't lessen my enjoyment of the song, which is of course the beauty of music.

"I changed by not changing at all". This is Dora in a nutshell. She's living on this property, by herself, seemingly disconnected from time, or from the town itself. I didn't dig into her backstory in the book, but I tried to make it clear that something happened, or didn't happen, and she's sort of stuck in that moment forever. I am quite certain I'll be exploring her more in a future story. *hint hint

She's focused, gruff, wise, and extremely pragmatic. Somewhat callous to the outside world, but also content to be right where she is. She's a bit of a reluctant mentor to Dustin, as Yoda is to Luke Skywalker.

Apologies for the ridiculously geeky reference.

Casting call

Diane Lane. I didn't know why she popped into my head as the person I'd cast as Dora, but when I began looking for photos of her for this post, I remembered that she played Martha Kent in the Man of Steel movie.

Diane Lane, Martha Kent, Man of Steel, Henry Cavill
If this wasn't from Man of Steel, this could be Dustin and Dora on Dora's front steps!

I can't find any other pictures of her with graying hair, wearing hippie/farmer clothes, so I must have had this imagery from the movie in the back of my mind when I visualized Dora for the story. The mind is a funny and powerful thing. It makes me wonder where else I pulled inspiration from without realizing it.

The farm

I've always been drawn to old farmhouse aesthetics. It's probably overplayed at this point, with so many of the home improvement shows using it for renovations, but I still find comfort in old roughed-up things that can live on with a little bit of care from their owner. I think it stems from growing up around this sort of thing as a young child.

I grew up in a very old home in Fresno's Tower District. I think it was built in 1912 and was surrounded by peach orchards until the neighborhood was developed around it. We are pretty sure the house was haunted, although I never had any experiences with that while living there. Oddly, I still have recurring dreams about that house to this day. I miss it, and I am sure it is a major reason why I love farmhouse aesthetics.

Plenty of places for Damon to play!

The idea of rusty farm implements scattered about the property was to indicate the retired function of the property and give the reader some warm orange and red colors to contrast with the blue of the house and green of the lawn and forest. As a kid, I would have found plenty to do with this kind of stuff around a property I was living on. The G.I. Joe bases you can create in an old tractor attachment are epic!

I'll discuss my grandma's home, which had lots of fun old rusty stuff around, in a future blog post.

The backhouse

The idea of the shanty Dustin and Damon move into is directly from the song Gone to the Movies.


Now he looks around his place and anyways

There's nowhere she could sit besides the bed

- Semisonic, Gone to the Movies


This one line in the song both dictated the size of Dustin and Damon's house, and the gender of our yet to be introduced canine character: "there's nowhere she could sit besides the bed."

Of course, if you read the rest of the song lyrics, it's pretty clear it is about an apartment in a city, and not a shanty next to the forest, but that's okay. As I mentioned earlier, sometimes one line from a song stands above the rest and puts imagery in our heads that the songwriter didn't intend. And that's okay.

Of course, at the end of the chapter, Dora guides the boys to the drive-in, unknowingly changing their lives forever. I placed a reference to the nineties here about a movie with talking toys in it. Bonus points to anyone who can name a talking toys movie from the nineties that isn't Toy Story. Hit me on Twitter @ethanhuntwriter, or drop a comment below!

Next time, we're going to the movies!

Soundtrack (thus far):

Follow as we build the soundtrack on Spotify!


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