Oftentimes I'll say I'm "close" to certain parts of the Wilfair books. This isn't to imply that I don't stand behind every part, because I do, but some moments sort of cling to my thoughts, like velcro, for a long time. One velcro moment is what I referred to as "The Sutton-Gomery Switcheroo" while writing "Stay Awhile."
The switcheroo is this: Gomery carries Sutton to The Redwoodian kitchen in order to wake her (Fair assures him Sutton'll wake up cranky). Moments later Sutton has retrieved Gomery's glasses from Beefy/Derrick/J23 and his group of difficult do-gooders.
That's it. My intention here is not to oversell the switcheroo. But I liked the idea of two people helping each other in two slightly unusual ways in a very short space (I imagine this all takes about five minutes in story time).
Each person performs side niceties, too: Gomery removes his watch so the buckle won't drag on Sutton's back and wake her, and Sutton also gets Gomery's money back, and then some, from the kitchen group.
This little change-up, Sutton dependent on Gomery in one moment, he on her in the next, is, in my mind, the spirit of the series in microcosm. It's the main theme delivered in quickly consumed, bite-sized form. (Not to be grandiose, because what I'm describing is very petite and parlor-sized.)
My scientists here at Wilfair HQ can school me on this -- please -- but I'm entranced by fractal geometry and the mathematics of chaos and organic forms reappearing, inside themselves, on a molecular level. I like a larger thing -- say, the cauliflower pictured below -- and I like that larger thing repeated on a smaller scale, over and over, in various ways, inside it.
Oof, I said "entranced." This IS getting grandiose. Best be off before I clutch my lapels and espouse further.
In summary? The Sutton-Gomery Switcheroo is, in my heart, the shape of Wilfair repeating again inside itself. It happens a few times, in my mind, during the series, but this is one my personal velcro moments.
Oof, I said "in summary." The lapels have been clutched!
(And to take all of this grandiosity down a needed peg or two, I leave you with this: Isn't "switcheroo" such a 1970s word? I picture it in mustard yellow font and covered in disco sparkles.)
Image: Even cauliflowers rock some hot fractal action!
cr: Paul Albertella