this article about another Ryan from that movie Up in the Air. The article talked about a "fairy tale'esque" transformation of this Ryan character. The article haunted me for some time and eventually I wanted to tell my story in fairy tale form. As I started to think about it I did feel a little like the Velveteen Rabbit and recently I had read the Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane to my daughters. This would be perfect. These stories and mine were transformational as a somewhat ordinary character evolves along an extraordinary journey of self-discovery but not without trepidation. For my own good I wanted to tell of the simultaneous joy and pain of discovering oneself and discovering how to feel and yet the immediate alarm that perhaps it's now too late to share that discovery with the person you've traveled through life with but have so unfortunately kept at arms length emotionally.
Later I came across that Alisson Krauss song "You're the Lucky One" which provided a perfect soundtrack to my tale. I enjoyed weaving the concepts of the Velveteen Rabbit, Edward Tulane, You're the Lucky One, and perhaps even a bit of Alice in Wonderland into my tale (I enjoyed writing out "Ryan'ness" much like Alice's "muchness"). The song "You're the Lucky One" provided such a melancholy paradox to this tale. For so long many who looked at me would have said I was in fact "the lucky one." One chosen for a distinguished career and lovely wife. And then fate, as if a tidal wave, tore through me. In the end I did feel washed ashore and in moments of solitude (as with Edward) perhaps discovered what love is or should be.
As the old doll tells Edward, "open your heart, someone will come. Someone will come for you but first you must open your heart."
Then again there was the hobo who said to Edward "perhaps you would like to be lost with us. I have found it much more agreeable to be lost in the company of others." I think that dude did marketing for Ashley Madison!
Anyway, here you go.... "The Miraculous Journey of Ryan Beaumont"
Here is the original Part I
Here is part II
Here is part III
Here is part IV
from August 16th, 2012.....
Shamelessly borrowed from the story The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo.
Chapter 1 - I'd Say Your Lucky 'cause I Know What You've Done
Each night Shannon would tell Ryan she loved him before they went to bed. Of course Ryan would say "me too." But Ryan couldn't really say it because he could not feel.
While Ryan was a considerate husband but he was made almost entirely of work. He would smile but mostly at the end of the week when his profits were made. He dressed smartly but mostly to look good for his clients and colleagues. He had a good personality because he was always trying to impress someone. In fact in all Ryan was full of ennui, as long as it related to his career.
Ryan was a tall husband measuring 6 feet even and still had some of the "swimmer's body" left from before he was a husband. In all Ryan counted himself as an exceptional specimen. He liked things a certain way, quiet and efficient; he didn't like to think of unpleasant thoughts.
Shannon was a jewel who in Ryan's eyes deserved to be on a pedestal. She had long fiery flowing Auburn hair and stormy blue-grey eyes. Her eyes were as the ocean who's sparkle could yield a beautiful tranquility yet turn to a terrible storm in an instance. She adored Ryan but was impetuous and jealous and prone to throw tantrums. Each morning after she dressed herself for school she would leave Ryan with a kiss. But when she returned and Ryan was otherwise engaged in his ascent up his career ladder she would cry with great lament.
"Oh Ryan, I said when the big hand was on the 7 I would be home for you," she would say as she often burst into tears "you disappoint me."
Ryan would say nothing . He said nothing because he could not speak with feeling of course. He was a career husband and needed to accomplish great things before he could settle down to being a home husband. Though Shannon had been attracted to Ryan's aspirations now she thought perhaps a home husband would do her quite well.
At times at night Ryan would look up at the stars as he lay next to Shannon. He would wonder which great opportunity would be his. Will his opportunity be this year or next.
And in this manner Ryan's days passed from one to another.
Oh there were little bits of drama from time to time. Once he and Shannon went to a great festival in New Orleans town. Ryan loved seeing Shannon dance to the energetic zydeco jigs along Bourbon Street and yet he always had an eye on people he might meet whilst in the city. On another occasion Ryan's company asked that he help at another location that needed his particular expertise. Ryan was very pleased with himself and so was Shannon.
Once another pretty girl started paying attention to Ryan. She thought him special as well. Ryan knew she thought him pretty and enjoyed the appreciation. Even though Ryan wanted to belong to Shannon he surely enjoyed the attention. Shannon was dismayed at Ryan's passive tolerance and underlying giddyness over the whole affair. Shannon had been nothing but good to Ryan and didn't feel she deserved this. But this too passed and Ryan remained faithful to his Shannon.
But he did not treasure her above his own glory.
One night Shannon told Ryan the story of the vain prince.
"Once there was a handsome prince but it made no difference because he cared for no one and so he could not love even though there were those who loved him.
One day the prince was asked to marry the daughter of another king. He had known this princess as children and she adored him completely. On the day of the wedding the prince was proud, he looked so galant in his wedding suit. The princess was radient in her beauty and her love for the prince. As the couple finished their vows the prince put the ring on his brides hand, she cried with joy as she said 'I love you with all my heart.' The prince said nothing. When his bride moved to put the finger on his hand he took the ring from her and studied it. He pondered his surrounding for a moment and then he swallowed the ring and stated 'this is what I think of love.'
The prince ran from the gathering. This is boring he thought, he was restless for gallant activities so into the woods he ran. But soon he was lost. Soon he was cold and hungry. He came upon a small little hut. He knocked on the door. He heard a voice 'enter if you must.' The prince entered and found an old wrinkled lady craggly and broken in general appearance. She sat at a table counting gold pieces one after another with no interest in the beautiful man that now stood in front of her. The prince, confused that this woman was not delighted at his presence, said 'I am hungry.' The lady said 'it is of no consequence to me' and she continued counting.
'But I am a beautiful prince and my father the king, help me or there will be consequences,' he said.
'Consequences' is all the woman said in a confused reply. The prince was confused as well now and pressed again for food.
The old woman then jumped to her feet and approached the prince and in an alarmed voice stated 'you dare talk to me of consequences, very well then we will speak of consequences; tell me the name of the one you love. Quickly now, I don't have all day!'
The prince stammered and finally said 'love, why speak of love; I love no one.'
'You disappoint me,' the old woman said and she raised her hand and said 'riffdoggery!'
And at once the beautiful prince was changed into a warthog.
'What have you done with me,' the prince exclaimed as he ran out of the old woman's door. Just then the horns of the Royal Guard blared in the distance. The prince ran to them. Unfortunately the Royal Guard now did not see a Royal Prince but a Royal Meal and they shot him at once.
Now inside the Royal Kitchen the Head Cook prepared the hog for the King's table. But upon opening the belly of the great hog he found a ring.
"The end," Ryan said confused. Shannon said "yes, the end." Ryan still confused said "but there was no happy ending." Shannon replied "you disappoint me Ryan, how can there be a happy ending with no love!" "Ryan" she said, "one day you will have consequences, I hope you will be prepared."
While the story sent a shiver up Ryan's spine he did not linger on it long. Life did move on for Ryan and Shannon. They left there little house off Broad Street to another back on the east coast. It was a lovely little house along a beautiful glistening river and Shannon did love it so. On summer days Ryan would splash in the river as Shannon sat adoring him on the sandy banks. But once again work was not glorious enough for Ryan, he sought greater kingdoms and again a smitten company sought his attention.
He asked Shannon to move again. Regretfully, she did.
But she said "Ryan you disappoint me..."
Ryan did not linger on the thought. Shannon would not be disappointed when he had acquired all the acclaim that was to be his. When he was on his pedestal there would be plenty of room for her and finally he could place her on her pedestal. And so they moved again.
But this time Ryan's career was not the next great opportunity. In fact this next opportunity was in fact much like that old woman's hut from the story Shannon had told him, an evil trap. Ryan struggled; he did not succeed this time. Soon, nobody was interested in him any more. Soon people did not bow to his wit and ingenuity. Soon, they thought he was just another pompous lazy husband who did not deserve the high place life had put him. Soon it appeared consequences would in fact find Ryan Beaumont.
And then it was one day fate asked of him "how does a young husband die?"
Of course he did not die in body for fate had a great storm in mind for him.
One day a smart woman from Ryan's company came to Ryan and said "you have been a bad worker others above me shall consider your actions." Ryan considered his fate and decided perhaps this kingdom was no longer a good kingdom, perhaps he should seek greener pastures, and QUICK!
As if that was not enough of an insult Shannon was now not so enamored with Ryan and in fact Ryan was not exactly a young husband anymore anyway. Shannon had met another husband named Brent who did put her on his pedestal and told her how lovely and smart she was. Next to Brent, Ryan was now an old, frumpy, used up husband of no consequence. Shannon told Ryan that she did not need him anymore.
Ryan was sad. Because he was sad Ryan began to run. He did not stop running until he returned to a place that was near to his beginning, way back before he was even a young husband.
The people of this new place did not know of Ryan's past exploits both great and vain. They thought Ryan smart enough and asked him to stay. Even though Ryan did not feel glorious anymore he did decide to join them.
Ryan begged Shannon to come to him one more time. Reluctantly she agreed but this time her heart was not in it. Ryan braced for Shannon to say "you disappoint me." But alas, Shannon lacked even the strength to say that to Ryan anymore. She moved back to Ryan but her heart remained with Brent.
to be continued.....