Patrick Miles III Vs. The Scuff (MT#3)

Alright, so I’m starting Patrick’s story.  For the first time, Patrick’s living away from his pristine home in the beautiful Eastern suburbs of Texas.  As I’ve said ten times before, this will be a first person narrative based around his first few months in college, where he learns the world outside of his paradise isn’t as polished and perfect as he thought.  Please feel free to critique and give me some suggestions; they really are helpful.  Well, enjoy!

I notice the scuff marks painted across my new dorm walls before anything else; not the room’s prison size, or the thin mattress, or even the horrible view, but the stains ruining the white walls.   The black lines streaked across the wall aren’t my main concern, though: it’s the two shoe prints.  Someone must have pulled their dirty boots off and slammed them against the wall to create such vivid marks.  Besides the boot print, there are thirteen other scuffs.  Too bad for them, though.  I brought White Out just to fix any impurities on my walls.  They won’t get the best of me.

My mother pushes passed me, a bit too excited to set up.  Empty rooms are like blank canvases to her.  But as soon as she gets a good, long look at the room,  her eyebrows furrow.  My mother’s the kind of woman who focuses constantly on appearance.  If something looks out of place, she has to fix it or it gnaws at her.  Our house always sparkles from the inside out.  She puts a lot of money and effort into it.  Well, not effort, unless you count hiring workers as ‘effort’.

“Oh,” she gasps softly.  “Well, isn’t this nice?  It’s nice, sweetie, right?  You have a lovely view of—what exactly is that?”

“I think it’s the lot behind the dining hall.”

“Right, of course.  It’s lovely.”

We both watch silently as a man in an apron dumps brown slosh into a dumpster, splashing it on the piles of garbage.  Some splatters against the lid.

When he waddles back inside, I mutter, “Maybe I’ll just keep the blinds down.”

“Don’t worry about it, Patrick, darlin’.  We’ll make this place good as new.  And at least you get a nice view of the sky.”

Maybe it’s all those self-motivation classes she attends, or maybe she’s actually losing her mind, but somehow she manages to extract optimism from every situation.  Believe me, it’s exhausting to listen to.  When my mother discovered that Mason, my twin brother, crashed into a truck (which cost my father thousands of dollars for our car’s and the truck’s repairs), she just smiled calmly and proclaimed she was happy no one was hurt.  Then, whenever my father brought it up at the table, she hushed him and said Mason was a growing boy and it was just a part of life.  My father would just glower at her, rubbing the edge of his eyebrow with his pinky.

I glance over my shoulder at him.  He lowers his eyes steadily, locking them onto mine.  A week before, he bet that I wouldn’t last two weeks in the dorm.  I shrugged the remark off, at first.  But this room…Besides the scuffs ruining the walls, gunk is splattered across the floor and marks cover the desk.  Someone had carved, ‘Eat me,’ in huge letters across the wood.  Suddenly, backing out doesn’t seem too bad.  I could go home, curl in my bed, and finally start Pound’s Cantos.  I’ll never have to think about this horrid place again.

“Wow, you’re livin’ the dream.”  Mason suddenly smacks his hand on my back, sending waves of pain down my spine.  “You regrettin’ this yet?”

“No,” I lie.  Mason grins maliciously at me.  He always knows when something unsettles me, and my forced grin isn’t helping my case.

Alright, I’ll admit my expectations might have been a bit too high.  After all, I lived in ‘Miles Manor’ my entire life.  That sounds awful, doesn’t it?  A gold plaque sits right on our stone fence, reminding its readers just how wealthy we are.  And I know what you’re thinking–I would believe I’m spoiled and pretentious, too. But I’m not.

“Can y’all get out of my way?” my father suddenly chimes from behind me.  We immediately scoot over, allowing him to pass.  Patrick Miles II is not a man you want to mess with.  He stands at six foot five and can probably fit both Mason and I on one shoulder.  A gray, bushy mustache covers the top of his lips and, whenever he speaks, it dances along with the rhythm of his voice.  And, like all typical wealthy Texan, he has a five hundred dollar cowboy hat settled on the top of his balding head.

Patrick Miles II has run Miles Oil Co., for nearly twenty-seven years.  He intends for me to take over the family business, soon.  That’s why he so generously granted me the name Patrick Miles III.  And yes, granted is the correct term (at least in his opinion).  My name is his gift to me.  Here, son, instead of buying you one of those stupid baby boy caps to keep your little baby skull warm, I’m just gonna go ahead and put Patrick Miles III on your birth certificate.  You’ll thank me later.

Of course, it also implies I can’t choose my future; my father created a path for me, and if I don’t follow it,  I’ll be cut off from the family money.  Thanks, dad.  I would’ve preferred the cap.

Being wealthy should be a privilege, but it’s quite tedious.  Originally, my father laughed when I asked to attend Palixton University, one of the most prestigious universities in Texas.  They accepted me and even granted me a scholarship, but all he did was lean back in his chair and laugh until he turned red.  Maybe growing up rich infected my father to the point that he couldn’t grasp the concept of living outside of his shelter to obtain an education.  He doesn’t appreciate learning, but I’m not like him.  I swear I’m different.  All I want is to do is devour more knowledge about life and the world before I’m trapped behind my father’s desk.  By then I’ll just watch huge men mine oil, while listening to employees complain about customers complaining, then dealing with customers complaining that employees aren’t understanding their complaints.  Sounds like my ideal future.

I scratch my eyebrow casually, examining the room once again.  With my mother’s touch, it may not be so bad.  Another stain catches my eye.  Yeah–I’ll be just fine.  I promise.

Patrick Miles III

I can’ wait until next week to start my new task!  So, I obtained a list of character development questions (from this link: http://www.squidoo.com/character-development-questions) to start working on the character whose story will be taking over half my blog.  I’ll try not to reveal too much, just so I can add to him as his story continues.  There may not be a need to post it since it’s simply just an exercise, but there’s no harm! Enjoy!

‘Pen and Paper’ by ygnd

The Basics:

  1. Name? Patrick Miles III.  But don’t call him Pat; he despises that nick name.
  2. Age? 18
  3. Birth date? October 16, 1993
  4. Approximate height? 5’11, although all the males in his family tower above him
  5. Approximate weight? 147 lbs
  6. Hair colour? Blond
  7. Eye colour? Brown
  8. Skin tone? Light skin with a few freckles scattered on his body
  9. Does he speak with an accent? Texas accent.  It’s not a strong Southern accent, but there are a few words where his accent is apparent (And yes, he does say “y’all”).
  10. Where is he from? A rural town close to Longview, Texas.
  11. Where is he now? I originally placed him in the University of Dallas, but since I’ve never been there before, I don’t want to incorrectly describe it.  Instead, I’ll just create a University: Palixton University.  It’s one of the top Universities in Texas, just outside of Tyler, TX.  The campus is huge and beautiful with both older and modern buildings scattered across the greens.

Backstory:

  1. Who is his parents? Patrick Miles II and Annabelle Miles.  They claim to be ‘simple folk’, but their elaborate, expensive house seems to hint otherwise.
  2. What is his earliest memory? Watching his twin brother roll around in mud in the backyard.  Patrick attempted to join him, only to find he was completely repulsed by the unclean feeling.
  3. What did they want to be when they grew up? He wanted to be a doctor for the longest time, until he realized he couldn’t stand the sight of blood.
  4. What did/do his parents want him to be? Since he seemed to exhibit a much high intelligence than his twin brother, his parents wanted him to take over the family business–running Miles Oil Inc.
  5. Do they have siblings? Older or younger? Brothers or sisters? He has a fraternal twin brother, Mason, who’s both taller and much stronger than him.  They rarely got along.  Patrick’s younger sister, Lacey, was always Patrick’s favorite. 
  6. Do they have or have they ever had children? How many? Patrick’s has an unexplainable and completely irrational fear of children.  Besides, he never met a girl to have children with.
  7. Do they or have ever had a significant other? Are they still with them? Why? Why not? As stated before, Patrick never had a girlfriend.  In fact, he never had a crush, before.  His head was always far too in the clouds or buried in a book to be concerned with such an idea.  At least, that’s what he tells others.
  8. What were they doing right before the story starts? Just starting college. 
  9. Up until now, what’s the most noteworthy thing he’s done? To himself? To the people around him?  If anyone ever asked Patrick this question, he would probably break into a nervous sweat and excuse himself to the bathroom.  He hasn’t done anything he believes to be ‘noteworthy’.  A part of him wants to believe it’s because he’s just too young, but something buried deep within him knows it’s not the truth.
    If you ask anyone else, they will all say the same thing: Patrick Miles III is a shining star with a fantastic future.  He’s received fantastic grades his whole life and read far too many books.  His neat, orderly appearance (and good looks) always catch other people’s eyes.  In fact, he used to win ‘cleanest desk’ awards in elementary school.  A combination of his intelligence, hard work, orderly manner, good looks, and wealth constantly makes him a target for praise.  He doesn’t see it, though.
  10. What was his education like? Every day, he fixed his tie and school blazer, smoothed out his dress pants and polished his shoes.  The Miles’ decided private school was the way to go for their children.  They could be surrounded by other children with wealthy parents and bright futures.  Miles was always top of the class (even in the most difficult classes) and truly appreciated the knowledge he gained (his brother, on the other hand, always gravitated towards football and girls).

Tastes:

  1. What’s his favorite color? Beige. 
  2. Does he choose to wear a scent? What would it be? Serge Lutens Borneo 1834 cologne for men.  Originally, he asked for the cologne simply because of the bottle.  Now, he can’t leave home without spritzing some on himself. 
  3. Does he care about what things look like? All things, or only some? Yes, very much so.  He’s very meticulous about organization.  There’s also a certain reputation and appearance, both his and his families, that he tries to uphold.
  4. What’s his favorite ice cream flavor? He doesn’t like ice-cream, although he loves plain frozen yogurt with strawberries (but don’t tell his father; he’ll think it’s ‘fruity’). 
  5. Is he a tea, or coffee drinker? Or soft drinks, or do they drink a lot of alcohol? What kind? (Hint: be specific, and be wary of characters who don’t have preferences about basic things like this) He drinks green-tea constantly.  In fact, he always carries a thermos full of green tea with him.  He only drinks wine, preferably white.
  6. What kind of books does he read? What TV shows and movies does he watch? He reads anything he can get his hands on.  As for television, he mostly watches House, the news, and Monk.
  7. What kind of music does he like? Does he like music at all? He likes alternative rock and classical music, but rarely listens to music.
  8. If he was about to die, what would he have as his last meal? A large filet mignon, green string beans and a glass of white whine. 
  9. Is he hedonistic? In all cases? Or does practicality sometimes/always/often win out? Practicality and reason always carry over emotions.  Sometimes, though, certain tendencies completely cloud his reason. 
  10. Does he have any philias or phobias? (Even if you don’t know what the technical term might be?) One mentioned before was his irrational fear of children, which might have to do with his hatred for dirt.  He considers children unclean.  Heights and spiders freak him out, too.  He’s not afraid of much, he just despises a lot of things.

Morals, Beliefs, and Faiths:

  1. Does he have an internal or an external moral code? He definitely follows an internal moral code.  He claims that he’s an extremely religious Southern Baptist, but it’s all for show to maintain his family’s reputation.  Although he wishes he could be indifferent towards his reputation, his strict upbringing forced him to actually care.  He focuses more on his own moral code, which is mixture of the Southern Baptist religion and his own opinions.  He believes people should always be kind to one another and judge others.  But his father would never understand that.
  2. To what extent are their actions dictated by this code? He tries not to judge others as much as possible and always tries to be kind, but his obsession with cleanliness sometimes makes it difficult…And he finds himself wondering why some people are so foolish, but scolds himself for being so cruel.  He’s very blunt, though, which is another road block between being judgmental and cruel and not. 
  3. Do they believe in a God or Gods/Goddesses/Higher being of some description? He believes there’s something, but he can’t figure out what.
  4. Are they superstitious? No. 
  5. Do they value faith/instinct more highly than reason? No. 
  6. Do they believe in an afterlife? If so, what’s it like? It’s another question which he speculates constantly.  He likes the idea of heaven, but it doesn’t make logical sense to him.
  7. Do they have any specific beliefs that manifest obviously? He believes in cleanliness and always putting knowledge first.
  8. Are the respectful of the beliefs of others? To what extent? Sometimes, although he tries to avoid it, he finds himself scoffing at others who let their emotions run rampant.  He can be a bit blunt, too…
  9. Have they ever had to stand up to criticism for being religious? Or not being religious? No.  He always keeps his personal religious beliefs quiet and thinks talking about them in public is a faux pas. He also lying about his opinions, but he feels obligated for his family’s sake. 
  10. Would they be more likely to act for the good of the one, or the good of the many? The good of many. 

Relationships:

  1. Does he make friends easily? He doesn’t strive for it, but he always attracts people.  He was raised with constant parties and people around him, but he never found socializing too important.  Patrick rarely meets people that interest him, but he certainly has a lot of acquaintances.  And even when he does form relationships, he finds intimate or profound connections both uncomfortable and awkward.
    His brother, Mason, was always the socialite of the family.
  2. Does he have a best friend? Yes. Her name is Keri and they’ve known each other since they were in pre-school together.  She stole his crayons and felt so bad after that she drew an apology card for him.  College is the first time that they’re separating and Patrick finds himself very nervous about it.
  3. Can he get people to do what he wants them to? If so, how? Yes.  He understands the human mind very well, therefore manipulation comes easily to him.  Would he do it is the better question.
  4. Do they have a lot of romantic relationships? Serious, or short term? None.
  5. Do they fall in and out of love easily? He actually speculates whether love exists or it’s just natures way to encourage people to mate. 
  6. Do strangers and acquaintances actually like him  when they meet? Typically, yes. However, his relationships rarely form into anything more than acquaintances. 
  7. Does he have a network? No.
  8. What is his relationship like with his family? Patrick gets along best with his younger sister.  Mason and he don’t talk much.  They don’t hate each other, but they’re just not big fans of one another.  Patrick’s father believes that they maintain a very good relationship, but Patrick doesn’t understand his father.  He can’t even speak to his infuriating mother, who claims to understand everything (thanks to her obsession with self-motivational classes).
  9. Are they still in touch with non-family people they were in touch with a year ago? Five years? Ten? More? Only Keri.  There are a few family friends, but he never attempted to maintain the relationship.
  10. Do they like children? Do they want children of their own? No and no. 

Physical Appearance:

  1. How does this character dress? How would he choose to dress, if all options were open to him? He wears mostly neutral colors.  Usually a sweater over a collared shirt, or a button down shirt.  Dark jeans are his favorite pants; he can’t stand dress pants after attending a private school his whole life.  As for shoes, he prefers regular black sneakers, or any neutral color.  He has a few pairs, but mostly sticks to his black sneakers.
  2. Does he have any tattoos? What do they mean? Absolutely not. 
  3. Does he have piercings? How many? Is this culturally appropriate for him? His mother pierced his ear when he was younger, but he despised it as he grew up and finally removed it.  Although, the tiny scar bothers him, too. 
  4. Does he have scars? Where did they come from? The tiny hole on his ear (which no one notices, but he does).  On his collar bone, there’s a thin, white streak from when his brother threw a rock at him when they were seven.  Instead of getting stitches for his son, Patrick’s father decided it would help him ‘toughen up’.  It didn’t. 
  5. Does he alter his appearance in some way on a regular basis? (Make up, hair dye, that kind of thing) No.
  6. Is there something he’d choose to change about his appearance if he had the opportunity to? Get rid of the scars and even out his freckles.  They’re mostly attracted to his shoulders and cheeks.
  7. Is there something about his appearance he’s particularly proud of/happy with? His hair.  He has his mother’s golden, straight hair and it cooperates so well that he rarely has to fix it up.
  8. Objectively, is he physically attractive? Fairly plain? Unattractive? His entire family is physically attractive.  He’s the worse looking twin, but he doesn’t mind.  And how is this an objective question?  Isn’t this an opinion?
  9. Does he have an accurate mental picture and opinion of his physical appearance? Sure.  He knows he’s not ugly, but feels indifferent towards the whole situation.  As long as he looks clean, that’s all he’s concerned about.
  10. How much time does he spend thinking about his physical appearance? Very little, unless, of course, he looks (or even feels) disorganized.

General Knowledge

  1. Can he navigate his own local area without getting lost? To what degree? To a certain extent.  He knows the roads very well, but not the forests which surround his town.  You’d have to ask Mason about those.
  2. Does he know who the top politician or monarch is where he live? What about elsewhere? Yes, actually he knows the mayor personally, thanks to his father.  He met one of the Senator’s of Texas, but it was when he was ten.  As for knowing who political figures are, he has a pretty good grasp.  He reads and watches the news a lot, after all.
  3. Does he know if/where there are any major conflicts going on right now? Present times conflicts, including the recent fires which devastated Texas.
  4. Does he know the composition of water? Of course.
  5. Does he know how to eat a pomegranate? No.
  6. Is he good with the technology available to him? Average? Completely hopeless? He’s just average.  He never bothered to study technology–he figures there are specialists for that. 
  7. Could he paint a house? Without making a mess of it? Yes.  Although it would take him a very long time (can’t get any splattered paint on his clothing or skin, can he?!).
  8. Could he bake a cake? Would you eat it if he did? Absolutely not.  And no, I would not eat it. 
  9. Does he know how to perform basic maintenance on the common mode of transportation? (In a modern Earth context, can they change the oil and water in a car?) Nope.  Too messy.
  10. Does he know the price of a loaf of bread? No, his house keeper normally does the shopping.  Sometimes his mother does, when she decides she wants to be a great house wife.  Of course, it doesn’t last very long…

Specific Knowledge:

  1. Does he have a specific qualification in a narrow area? (Think physics and plumbing) He has a good grasp on literature, especially classic novels in the scholarly canon.  He loves philosophy, as well, and tries to obtain several different philosophical perspectives.  He’s also very good at decorating, although he wouldn’t admit it.
  2. Is there something he does or knows exceptionally well that most other people don’t? Compared to most of the people in his hometown and even his private school, he has a better intellect. 
  3. Do people often comment on a particular skill or area of knowledge to this character? Behind his back? Yes.  People have very high expectations for him.  Even though his father wants Patrick to take over the family business, others believe Patrick will do something far greater.
  4. Is there an area he could be considered top of their field or a genius in? Not particularly, at least not that I’m aware of right now.  He’s good at playing the piano, but he’s not a master at it.
  5. Has he deliberately sought to gain knowledge in a specific area? If so, why? He’s tried to learn about a few things, including certain types of technology and math.  But, he’s always been drawn to literature and philosophy.
  6. Does he speak more than one language? More than two? Why?  Thanks to his private school, he speaks Spanish almost fluently, but rarely speaks it, so he’s losing his grasp on it.
  7. Does his cultural background effect what he would be expected to know? His father expects him to understand business and how the oil drills work.  Patrick studied it before, but it never fascinated him.
  8. Has he ever been publicly acknowledged for being well-versed in something? Not yet.  Many say he will, someday, win a Nobel Peace Prize or write a bell-selling novel, but Patrick doesn’t plan that far ahead; he’s too busy trying to read, so don’t bother him about the future.
  9. Has he ever been bullied for knowing a lot about something? In elementary school, he was bullied by his twin brother and his friends, but by middle school, Mason started to defend him instead.  Patrick never learned to fight.
  10. Does he actively seek new knowledge, or let it come to him naturally? A mixture of both.  He learns a lot about human nature by simple observation, but he adores reading about it, too.

‘What if…’ Questions:

  1. What if  he’d been born with a different biological sex? He probably would have been very similar as a female, simply because he has feminine characteristics (or at least he’s not a ‘man’s man’).  Except he might be a bit more interested in relationships. 
  2. What if he’d have more or less siblings? If Patrick didn’t have Mason, his life would have been completely different.  He believes he would’ve been happier as a child.  He’s reached a point in his life where he appreciates Mason and believes him to be his other half (but not the better half).  If his sister wasn’t in the picture, though, his life would have been completely different.  He adores her and cares for her so much.  Without her, he probably would have completely buried his emotions and only dealt with acquiring knowledge.  She gives him a reason to care about the world. 
  3. What if a key formative event in his past had gone differently? When he was ten, Mason showed him a picture of a naked girl.  Mason asked him repeatedly if Patrick thought she was pretty, but Patrick couldn’t bring himself to say yes.  So, Mason punched him in the face and called him a ‘faggot’.  The word always tore at him and lingered in the back of his mind so much so that Patrick avoided any romantic confrontations.
  4. What if he lost a limb? (Would which limb be important?) Without his left hand, he wouldn’t be able to write any longer.  It wouldn’t be a big deal if he lost a leg, although he would miss taking long walks.  However, he loves his hands.  Without them, he wouldn’t be able to pick up a book, write his thoughts down, or play the piano.
  5. What if someone close to him died unexpectedly?  It depends.  If it was his father, he would immediately take over the oil field company, completely demolishing his chance to gain a good education.  If his mother died, sure it would be tragic, but Patrick’s life wouldn’t change too much.  She’s too absorbed in her self-motivational classes and ‘transforming her life for the better’ to be a good mother.  If Mason died, Patrick would lose a part of himself.  And if Lacey died, Patrick would be devastated and lose touch with parts of the world.
  6. What if he’d been born 50 years earlier? 100 years? 1000? 50 years earlier, he probably would have been one of those fighting for a revolution and civil rights (or at least reading about it in the newspaper).  100 years, he probably would have just lived in a big house in the south and kept to himself with books scattered around him.  His parents probably would have forced him to marry some rich, pretty girl and Patrick would have been completely unhappy.  1000 years ago, w
  7. What if he’d done something completely different on the morning when the story starts? (This is a good plot question, as well.) Gosh.  I have no idea.  I’m trying not to think where I’m going to take the story just to see what happens.
  8. What if he found enough money to make him wealthy for the rest of his life in a bag? Well…he probably wouldn’t notice much, since he’s extremely well off now.
  9. What if he was stranded and deserted? Patrick would probably panic.  But he’d seize the opportunity to think, although he’d probably be freaking out without a shower.
  10. What if he was betrayed by someone he trusted? He wouldn’t be surprised.

Miscellany

  1. What did he have for breakfast this morning? Scrambled eggs with orange juice and two sausages: his favorite breakfast.  The Miles cook put extra cheese and salt on it to make it extra special, since he was moving into college.
  2. What ridiculous belief/s did he have as a child? (Did they think the moon really was made of cheese?) He believed dirt was the main cause for the world’s problems.  Whenever he saw pictures with poverty, he always noticed the dirt and figured it was the reason the people were in such a bad place.  He believed that until he was seven; now he just can’t stand it.
  3. Does he like marshmallows? Yes.  And if they’re roasted, he likes them perfectly golden brown, but not burnt.
  4. Do they sleep on their side, front, or back?  He sleeps on his back. 
  5. Do they work better with sound or silence? Silence, definitely.  He likes the quiet.
  6. Do they have a strange obsession with something minor? He likes everything orderly and clean.  Also, he really loves mystery novels.  A lot.
  7. Do they like art? He likes classic art, but doesn’t really understand modern art, although he appreciates it.
  8. How fast can they run? His legs are pretty long, but he can’t run faster than Mason.  He’s not very fast, but he’s not too slow, either.
  9. Do they prefer to sit on the floor or on a chair? Chair.  Definitely the chair.
  10. What do they want, right now? To acquire knowledge and maybe learn something about himself along the way.

Work Cited:

 Cecilia. “101 Character Development Questions.” Squidoo, n.d. Web. 24 Sep 2011. <http://www.squidoo.com/character-development-questions&gt;.

YGND. Pen and Paper.  October 26 2010. N/A. Pen and Paper. 24 September 2011. <http://poeticvoices.us&gt;