The Olympic Rowers
Personal Writing Journal
Dear Virginia Woolf,
I know Vince.
No one in the world knows Vince like I do. Some would use a term like “soul mate,” but that would not do it justice what we have. It is more immortal than that, far more. He is my muse. He is my inspiration. And I am certain that together we could make something artistic that would change the face of the art world.
Together we could redefine the world.
When I told Vince, for example, about my plan to create a new genre of literature he was ecstatic. And he completely understands why I need to keep it secret. If anyone, ANYONE, was to learn or say anything about this new genre, it would fall apart before it begins.… But since you are Virginia Woolf, and I frustratingly can’t really discuss it outside these pages, here I go.
It is called “New-Reality Fiction” and this is how it works.
“New-Reality Fiction” a literary genre created by Jenn Gane
So often you hear that horrendous expression “truth is stranger than fiction,” but what if that truth was created out of fiction?
The goal of a “New-Reality Fiction” author is to first find a “character” in the real world, someone with a story about to begin. The author integrates himself/herself into the character’s life without him/her realizing it, and like an author writing on paper, slowly manipulates the story/life as it’s taking place into a tale worth telling. Maybe a few choice words here or there, nothing too obvious. Leaving something around, another example, to be found that might spark an emotion or action; or maybe coordinating a meeting of the character and someone else through some kind of stealth scheduling, etc. The true skill of the author in such a work is in not becoming a character in the tale. They are creating the story, they are not taking part.
After the story has reached its proper ending, the author will then write the book up, like one would a literary non-fiction work, sharing the tale and his/her role in making it happen. And that is how you make a “New-Reality Fiction” book.
Some would consider this evil, manipulating someone’s reality, playing with their emotions, their dreams, and I can see that. I truly can. But as Vince always says art must come first, art must always come first. And can you imagine the reaction the world will have to such a work? And this book will be the first to do it. I will be the first to do it. The final result is worth the cost in my opinion, tenfold.
The subject for this first attempt at literary greatness is a friend of Vince’s named Steve.
I was looking for a possible “character” for quite some time before I latched onto Steve. But as fate would have it, I was around when the perfect opening of a book happened right in front of me. It was a blessing from the gods, a sign that this was the path to take and I took it.
About six or so months ago, Steve was in a committed relationship with Anna; they were living in this boring studio apartment downtown. Everything was happy and there was no reason for Steve to feel like the relationship was in a bad position. Anyway, one day he came home from having dinner with some friends (Vince and me) to find that his fiancee had moved out.
Yes, Anna had left, taking all of her things! You should have seen the devastation on his face. He first thought the apartment was robbed until we realized it was just her items. To make matters more intense for Steve there was no note.
Luckily, I was there for this entire first chapter when he arrived at the apartment, and studied Steve as he scurried around frantically, knocking on the neighbor’s doors, and trying to call Anna or other friends. I immediately realized that the great muse for literature had dropped the opportunity I had been waiting for in my lap.
Remember, how I said there was no note from Anna? Well, there was one… I snatched it before anyone else noticed. And it was at that moment, with that first little bit of thievery, that a new literary genre was born!
I’ll speak more about Steve and my book, in a bit but I need to get through some of my frustration with Steve and his friend Ralph first. I don’t consider Ralph a friend.
Virginia, you would appreciate a character like Ralph, because he is in my opinion an expensive children’s mechanical toy, but one that is unsure exactly how to be wound up or what that even means…. I love that description, I used it once with Vince and he was very impressed. Ralph is from old money. Which means, he is given two chances in life we normal saps never get: He can either easily do something of greatness or never do anything at all.
Ralph, sadly, has chosen the later. Living in a beach house owned by his family’s estate, filled with things that have no connection to him (I like to think of him as forever existing in a bed and breakfast), and surrounded by people that want his money.
Even Vince wants his money. That is how I met Ralph, Vince has known him since elementary school and he has kept the friendship going, even though Vince can’t stand the man. Vince is certain that someday he is going to need Ralph for a giant grant, and when that day comes Ralph won’t be able to say no.
Now please, don’t judge Vince, even Ralph’s wife has dubious motives.
Lilly is not a trophy wife, she is not a platinum blonde with a body that could only be compared to a young girl’s questionable doll. She is strong, very athletic (obsessed with sports), and focused. I think, personally, she is incapable of focusing on more than one thing at a time. And that one thing she is focusing on is rarely ever Ralph.
Ralph was failing his way through college (he spent more time partying in his frat house with other rich souls than “digesting” anything of any great importance outside of cheap beer and nachos), when he first saw his future wife working out in the gym, a star of the college’s rowing team. I don’t know how he won Lilly over or how he even convinced her to date him. They are really nothing alike. He is lazy, she isn’t. He is perfectly happy sleeping and drinking a day away; she is up each day at dawn, jogging. They are even an odd looking couple, she taller than him by three inches and muscular; him, sturdy, but not overly handsome.
Now about Lilly’s dubious motives, after their wedding they immediately moved into his family’s lake house and Ralph suddenly hired for his wife the best rowing coach in the country. And, a week or so later, living nearby them was one of the team members that took the bronze in rowing for the US in the last Olympics… and that world-class rower is now Lilly’s partner as they train for women’s pair rowing in time for the next Olympics.
You see what I mean, Virginia?
Anything Vince or I could ask for in a grant would be minor compared to that outreach by Lilly! All she has to do is occasionally sleep with him and let him see her naked, and she gets a chance to chase her dream for an Olympic gold medal. Win-Win.
The sad thing is Ralph doesn’t see it. He doesn’t see any of it! He is as blind to this arranged marriage as he is to the works of art and historical artifacts in his too-large home. He just breathes. I’ve seen him numerous times since Vince became my muse and it wasn’t until tonight that I even saw Ralph blink, as it were. It was also the first time I had ever heard him swear.
I was visiting the lake house with Steve since Vince was away at a literary convention in Chicago. And for the sake of my soon-to-be groundbreaking book, I take every opportunity I can to spend time with Steve… even if that means visiting the frustrating sack of a human being that is Ralph Forster Mason the third.
The sunset that evening was of a kind of beauty that only impressionism painters have a right to describe. With its blur and haze of multi-colors tracing from the sky to the wide blue darkening lake below, it was hard for any to find nothing but peace looking upon it. Even Ralph beholding it felt a little touched by it, and for a soul such as his—raised in an environment surrounded by nothing but beauty and the power to own it—that said a lot.
This was Ralph’s lake home, and from his perspective on his shaded porch all the sky and the lake he could see was his as well. Yes, he had decided to claim that sunset. It was a fact he wouldn’t say out loud of course, especially not to his friends sitting next to him in lounge chairs and not to his wife and her rowing partner as they went back and forth through the waves in front of him, their oars, like a well-tuned clock, dipping and returning again and again. He felt he owned everything, everything around him, and that felt good and strangely normal.
Ralph leaned back slothfully in his chair on his porch, studying his wife and rowing partner, their motion now reminding him as well of the slow flap of a Great Blue Heron. He spoke quietly and slowly. “There’s some perfection there. Look at how their bodies work so well together. They breathe together. They ache together. It is like their souls are linked for the one purpose of moving that boat across the waves. God, it is like watching a painting in motion. Pure art. Lilly and Stacey are like the same coin, the same mind. What a bond there must be there to make this perfection alive.” Ralph stopped, looked over at Steve and Jenn for a second, and then turned back to the lake with a sip of his wine. “Fuck Stacey.”
Steve’s mouth fell open, but Jenn was the first to react. “Don’t tell me you’re jealous of this, Ralph?”
Ralph adjusted his chair so it now reclined back, which he did with it, placing his arms over his face, covering his eyes. He could’ve taken a nap then if he wanted, after the amount of drinks he had at dinner, he almost considered it. “How can I not be, Jenn? You look at them and tell me. I’d rather not right now.” He debated whether to roll on his side—no, that might have been rude with his friends there—choosing instead just to lay on his back with his eyes covered in this fashion. If some sleep arrived, so be it.
Jenn continued talking, which didn’t surprise Ralph in the least, keeping him up. He always considered her a talker; fine at dinner, annoying when one is sleepy. “It’s her job, Ralph.”
“It’s not a job, Jenn,” Ralph said mimicking Jenn’s accusatory tone. “It’s what Lilly chooses to do. She can stop tomorrow if she wanted to. But she won’t, and Stacey will continue to arrive each day, as will their coach once a week to see how they’re doing.
Suddenly, to Ralph, Jenn felt closer; did she move in her chair to face him? Yes, that must have been it. Having his eyes covered like this could make it all seem rather a piece of guesswork on his part. “Ralph, it’s like going to someone’s office and being threatened by someone who helps them on the copier.” Sometimes to Ralph it seemed like Jen talked like a typewriter, her fast voice and words having a short, clipped quality to them.
Ralph, with some effort, raised one of his arms in the air. “Bad Analogy, Miss Gane. One (he raised a finger, and then pointed the finger to what he assumed was the lake in the distance, he still couldn’t see), that is a lake, not a copier. And two (he held up two finger), no one spends five hours, six days a week fixing a paper jam in a copier. You look at them, I can’t. I’d rather lie like this. Steve, continue for me, please. I feel a headache sneaking in.”
Jenn looked over at Steve, who only shrugged. “I’m not getting involved in this.”
Ralph smiled and removed part of his arm to take a peek at Steve. “And that’s why I like you Steve so much more now. You’ve become wonderfully predictable.”
Steve looked down at Ralph and his one visible eye. “What does that mean?”
“Oh, Steve, I don’t want to argue,” Ralph said, wishing, not for the first time, that people had off switches like televisions. “You’ve become predictable since Anna. Just embrace the change.”
Jenn grunted in a way that to Ralph almost sounded like she wanted to curse, but stopped herself in the process. Ralph couldn’t understand why bringing up Anna would affect Jenn so. If he didn’t know she was obsessed with Vince—and might almost be asexual, in his opinion, that obsession being something more artistic—he would have guessed she had some feelings around Steve. “Ralph, sometimes when you talk you make me think you are an idiot’s version of Gatsby.”
“I don’t even know what that means, Jenn.” Ralph took his arm off of his face, and turned his head to face Jenn. “How long have you known Steve?”
Jenn glanced at Steve and then back at Ralph. “I don’t know eight months? Maybe a little less.”
Ralph nodded in that arrogant way that annoyed most people who ever saw him do it. “So you mainly got to know him around the time that Anna left. He was a different person before Anna broke his heart and drive. You should’ve seen him at the frat back in the day, he could devise the most wonderful parties. Now they would probably be simple, boring, everday keggers.”
“Now wait a minute,” Steve began.
Ralph interrupted him with a swish of one of his arms into the air; the action almost felt too aggressive on a new night like this. “Steve, you are not going to argue that you are the same as you were before all that mess, are you?”
“Well, sure, I’ve changed,” Steve replied, now angry, “But why is this suddenly about me? And Jesus, Ralph, I’m sorry you think your wife is a dyke and is in love with her rowing partner, but I don’t know why you feel you need to attack me.”
“Wow, seriously, wow, Steve,” Ralph said, even though only a small part of his voice truly sounded shocked by Steve’s rude outburst. He sat up, adjusting his chair’s back so he was now sitting like his two friends. There would be no naps now. He looked to Steve, concerned. “Steve, I’m sorry. I thought we were just talking and I’ve had a few drinks… A lot of drinks. Tonight felt like a night for drinks. I thought we were opening up, I didn’t know that…”
Steve shook his head. “Let it go, Ralph.”
“Sounds good,” Ralph said almost too quickly, turning back to the water. “And I see that the dynamic duo is ending for the night.” Lilly and Stacey were on the dock, taking the boat out of the water. It would still be another thirty minutes before they would even join them on the porch, since they would do all of their stretches first on the water’s edge.
“And for the record,” Steve said, “I’m a big fan of lesbians.”
Ralph laughed a little too loudly (even the two on the dock taking a quick glance up at them in the distance) as Jenn gazed down at her glass. Ralph knew she rarely drank, but he enjoyed tempting her when she was around. Actually, Ralph enjoyed tempting everyone, it was all part of how he could flaunt his status in life. He always had the best of everything and never felt the need to save for a rainy day… Speaking of which, it began to lightly rain. The drops were already making a lovely pattern on the water in front of them, hitting the thin porch roof over their heads. If Lilly and Stacey could tell it was raining, as they now stretched and talked in the distance, Jenn couldn’t say.
Ralph turned his body in his chair towards Jenn now and looked at her until she felt she had to acknowledge him. “Yes, Ralph?” She asked in that quick, clipped way. (Type, type, type, Ralph thought).
Jenn could see the playful little flash in his eyes as he asked, “So where is Vince again? And why are we babysitting his henchman?”
Jenn didn’t bother to reply to the second question. “He is at a literary convention in Chicago.”
“Oh,” Ralph said, turning his attention to Steve now, “Vince went there to get laid.”
“That’s what I was thinking,” Steve replied quickly.
Jenn wanted to interrupt but they continued as if she wasn’t there. Ralph first, “What do you think? Student?”
“No, no, he could do that here. He has gone for some greater prize in my opinion.”
“A famous writer?”
“I’m guessing more an expert in the field of writing.” Steve stated in a knowing fashion. “He has never been about collecting stars for his black book. No, he wants something a little more substantial, something that would mean more to those in the know, maybe something that could become an interesting story in of itself. Whenever he tells me of a relationship, it is never about the event but the story around it.”
“You are a wise and insightful man, Steve. We should go online and look at the roster for the event. We could make bets.”
“That…” Steve began but was immediately interrupted by Jenn whose face had turned a bright shade of red.
“Vince, wouldn’t do that. He is not like that,” she said, hiding none of her emotion in her voice.
Ralph leaned his entire body towards Jenn now. taking the time to say his words with as much gravity as he could muster at that moment. “Vince would do it, Jenn, and he is like that.”
Instead of replying with a biting comment or stating her argument in so many points, she rose, gave one last angry look at Ralph and walked away from the porch, down the stairs to the beach and Lilly and Stacey.
Ralph turned his attention back to Steve, waving his hand in Jenn’s departing direction. “Seriously, why is she here?”
“I have no idea. She has been following me around a lot since Anna left.”
“That must be a nuisance.”
“Actually, it has been nice,” Steve replied, watching Jenn talking to Lilly and Stacey as they stretched. “She’s listened to me, asked me a lot of questions, got me to really open up about the break up. I’m not sure what kind of a state I would be in if she wasn’t around. It’s like having a personal psychiatrist whenever I need one.”
“You like her?”
“It’s not like that,” Steve replied with no emotion sneaking into his voice.
Ralph knew what most people thought of him, the good and the bad. He also, even though he hated to actually think it, also knew how much he was worth to people. That is fine, he always thought each time it snuck into his mind. As long as he got pleasure from their visits and company, what did it matter if they only saw a dim lightbulb with a checkbook when they looked at him? It didn’t matter in the long run, not as much as the security money gave him, a security each of those people that viewed him that way would never feel or understand.
People sometimes use the term “master of the universe” for the rich, but Ralph never thought it accurate. No, what the rich have is the possibility of true peace if they decide to embrace it. They don’t worry about bills or finding the right school for their kids or all of the little things that might keep normal people up at night.
No, Ralph has always had a good night’s sleep. Each and every night that he could remember. And that was just one of the perks he felt.
Another perk of his financial state came more naturally, he is able to notice things others can’t; mainly this is because he is never distracted by the thousand “bees” that infest everyone else’s mental “hive.” And because of this Ralph could see two things at that moment that were as clear and as loud as the drum-like smack of the rain hitting the roof of his porch.
- Steve was very much still in love with Anna and was not even attempting to change that.
- His wife Lilly enjoys the company of Stacey more than she ever enjoyed the company of him.
I have to be honest with you Virginia, because, well, you are Virginia Woolf and you deserve better than half-truths, but for a time this evening, I considered changing the focus of my novel to Ralph. First you have a rich, spoiled adult, jealous of his wife and her obsession about women’s pair rowing and his failure to even emerge as a real human being. (Let’s be honest, he is nothing more than a “present” purchased by some rich people who treat him as such for years, now forced to become a human by himself. Rich children when they enter the world are always like Pinocchio in my opinion; never experiencing reality until then because of the “bubble” of money.) But a Ralph book would be harder to do, and I already feel like I know where it’s going. There would be little for me to do as the “author.” But I still talked to Lilly and her rowing partner Stacey in the rain that night, listening to their exchanges; then walked away, not interested enough in their sport to make the story about this trio. I’ll leave them to another “New-Realty Fiction” writer.
Also, while Steve seems fine (so far) with my questions and my trailing him around, I can’t imagine Ralph or his wife being that relaxed about it. They seem like a more suspicious lot than Steve. (They probably always assume people are after their money, which is true.) Steve, well, Steve is broken, and broken people have a tendency not to see the forest for the trees, if you will. (Do you know that expression, Virginia?)
The problem with Steve is that his story has gotten a little stagnant. I feel like he keeps repeating chapter 6 through 8 and I am ready for Chapter 9, if that makes sense. See this is how I have the book broken out so far.
- Chapter 1 is his return to the apartment to find that Anna is gone and there is no note. (I have some amazing prose in this. Vince was really impressed when I showed him.)
- Chapter 2 to 4 you have him asking questions and trying to track her down.
- Chapter 5, you have that wonderful awkward conversation when he finally got her on the phone. (I still can’t believe I convinced him to make the call in my apartment! I almost have the complete audio file of the phone call memorized by now.)
- And Chapter 6 to 8 is the introspection.
- And Chapter 9 is when what happens next, happens!
The problem is that right now Steve is really good at this introspection, I’ve actually debated rewriting the book giving him the first person because of it (but right now I am happy with a limited 3rd person perspective). I’ve had dinners with Steve, long phone conversations, I’ve even surprised him at his office (I got some great moments recorded on my phone of his office mates ordering him around), but he just doesn’t get out of the funk. And the funk over losing Anna follows him everywhere, like a little lost puppy.
It was later that evening, Virginia, that I must admit I made a little bit of a fateful decision. One I might regret for my story. I didn’t act as the hand of God ruining the book, surely, but I might have played the part of a twitchy finger.
The light rain had turned into a full storm by the time Steve left Ralph’s door. He ran across the pavement to his little car, which could not have looked more out of place at Ralph’s lake house, and unlocked the driver’s side door. He jumped in, shook the rain out of his hair and was about to start the car when…
“You don’t know Vince like I do, Steve.”
Steve let out a little scream and revolved to face Jenn who was sitting, very casually, in the middle of his back seat. “Jenn,” he gasped out. “What are you doing in here?!”
“Your backdoor was unlock.” She replied hastily, her words almost being said too quickly.
“You scared me! Do you need a ride or something? Is something wrong with your car?” He glanced over to where her car was parked. It was gone. “Where is your car? Was it stolen?!”
“I moved it so I could surprise you and no nothing, is wrong,” Jenn said. “I just wanted a private conversation away from rich boy, and I wanted you to know you are wrong.” She almost overly emphasized the last word too much.
“Why would you…” Steve didn’t complete his thought, realizing that there wasn’t a point. The answer was in front of his face; or more per se, sitting in the back seat behind him. The answer is it is Jenn. He gave up trying to figure out Jenn a long time ago. She has always been unpredictable, but since Anna more so, showing up at strange hours and asking him the most detailed questions. Steve sighed, trying to get control over his nerves as he turned to face his back seat more.
Jenn looked strangely like a child to him sitting back there, all she was missing was a booster seat. Yes, she was only a few years younger than him, but she was short with a thin frame and a boyish short haircut with her blonde hair, making her look more thirteen than twenty-two. “Jenn, while I thank you for all you have done for me over the last six months. And I am serious about that. I don’t know a single friend or family member that cared more for my feelings and, frankly, for me, after Anna left. Our conversations really have meant a lot to me. You got me to open up like no one else in my life, and I have probably told you more secrets than I have ever told anyone. So out of respect for this friendship we made after Anna’s freakish exiting out of my life, please let me help you now. Stop being Smeagol to Vince, stop acting like Gollum. It is not…”
Jenn interrupted, shaking her head with a disappointed expression (Steve always feels like Jenn is judging people). “That is the wrong reference.”
“What?” Steve asked, jolted out of his speech.
“Smeagol loved the ring sure, but the ring was like a drug. Vince is not my heroin. A better Lord of the Rings reference is Grima Wormtongue. He first was a ‘yes’ man for King Theoden and then Saruman.”
Steve shook his head. “Are you saying you know how unhealthy your relationship is with him?”
Jenn first replied with that know-it-all smirk she has and then spoke in her rapid style. “Vince is my muse, he teaches me, he inspires me. I am becoming a better artist under his tutelage, that’s all you really need to know.”
Steve slowly nodded, giving up the fight. “Okay, okay. Jenn I need to go. It is late. I have to work tomorrow and I am tired. I just got done listening to Ralph’s snide complaining for two hours, I can’t deal with this right now.”
Jenn nodded and then moved to the right back door. She paused upon taking the door handle, as if her mind was running through some options, but of what Steve couldn’t say. Suddenly, she spun to look at him. “You should call Anna again,” she said simply and quickly, and then left with a slam of the car door. Bang!
To Steve it felt almost like a slap.
His mouth fell open and he lost all his words, turning to watch Jenn walk through the rain with head held high (as if daring the rain to make her feel wet and uncomfortable), around the corner to where she must have parked her car… and then he brokenly laid his head forward down on steering wheel… which made his horn go off.
For each minute I sat in my car on that rainy evening waiting for Steve to leave, I began to realize that I might have just made a huge mistake. My goal in my “New-Reality Fiction” was to nudge him through a reality story constructed by me, but it was supposed to be done more subtle than this. What I should’ve done is gave him the “impression” that he should call her, not outright say it. Frankly speaking, I may have overstepped my bounds as the writer/constructor. But, let’s be honest, I am the first person to ever attempt writing in this literary genre; mistakes might occur. Eggs might be broken, and shells might be in the batter. The trick for me will be making sure it is not a big issue.
Also, I must be honest, dear Virginia, I might have done it a little out of spite. While I know more about Vince than Steve ever could, a part of me wanted to hurt him for attempting to make me question my connection to Vince.
Vince is at a sterile, humdrum literary convention, nothing more. He wanted to meet other writers and artists. I know it is innocent because he wanted to go meet the author of that book I gave him about post-modernism and love. (She is my former professor and I can’t imagine anyone being interested in her. For one, she is married; and two, she is like 10 years older than him.) His interest in looking more into the subject shows a link to me more than any random whore he could convince into his bed.
I’m sorry. I don’t often use language like that. And you are one of my heroes so in writing this to you, I feel that much more guilty.
I just can’t imagine Vince being interested in anyone right now. He has reached such a plateau in his artistry, to show interest in anyone else would be to… look down, not rise, as it were.
A lot of who Vince is right now is because of me, but his friends don’t know that. It happened about four months ago when he was at my house. We were watching the classic BBC miniseries version of Pride and Prejudice; I had been attempting to convince him to watch it for quite some time (it being one of my obsessions growing up). Vince was transfixed by the show and kept asking me about the actor playing Darcy. Do women find him sexy? Smart? Do they like his black hair? How it looks? His stare? The way he looks off into the distance? What about his accent?
Anyway, at one point I go up to use the bathroom, upon returning Vince was gone as was my boxset of the series (He has yet to return it, but that is okay).
The next day Vince began speaking with a British accent and each day it became more and more clear to me what he was doing. He was recreating the voice of Darcy!
Three days later I helped him dye his hair black, and soon his wardrobe changed. He wore more black, even adding in the occasional tie.
- Upon seeing his change, I considered dyeing my own hair black, maybe even mirroring his new Darcy-like haircut… but I didn’t.
- Then I considered dyeing my hair the opposite, white to his black. Maybe even changing my attire to be whiter, angelic… but I didn’t.
- Then I considered taking on an accent. I dreamed of having a lovely French accent. Or Italian… but I didn’t.
See, Vince is my muse, but I am not obsessed about him.
Damn, I think I’m starting my period. It’s early this month.
Well, it took Steve about 15 minutes before he drove slowly (far too slowly) away. That was telling as well.
I will need to capture this internal debate that he just had with himself. I’ll probably need to see him tomorrow morning. I need to pencil that in. Maybe I can convince him to meet me for coffee or something? I could pretend I need his support because of Vince and my feelings or something foolish like that. I can then move from my “feelings” into a discussion about him and Anna and what he was thinking about in the car.
Better yet! If I could convince him to come to my apartment I could use my old video recorder if I set it up right and in a hidden location. Maybe I can capture some of his physical reactions to talking about her, which could add some wonderful descriptions to what will probably be a new chapter.
I believe, Virginia Woolf that Chapter 9 might have to wait until Chapter 10.
P.S. I love To The Lighthouse. Great book.
You can find previous chapters on the Permanent Spring Showers page of this site, but how about checking out some of my finished books? I had two novels published in the last few years, My Problem With Doors and Megan. You can find them via my amazon.com author page here. Thanks for reading! New chapter next week.