Raised within the emotional and spiritual conservatism of the Mennonite church, a young malcontent on atheism's precipice sought confession in the arms of several faiths and several lovers. Sure that there must be a method in the madness, she followed Muslims, fundamentalist Christians, Bahai's, Unitarians, and Buddhists, alternating between the extremes of nihilism and morning prayer rituals, finding that no one system of belief came in the tidy package she had initially hoped to find.
Our heroine found herself tucked inside the pocket of a 1960s inspired idealism surrounded by the unrealistic urban optimism of the 1990s. Peace, love, and LSD at once inspired, demoralized, and tired her as she loved, lied, and lost herself to wanton distraction.
After a lifetime of eating a steady farm-style diet of meat and potatoes, she embarked on a culinary expedition through the kitchens of vegan hippies and creole jazz musicians, self-taught pastry artists and European-educated baristas. From the moment she tasted homemade yogurt for the first time, she had no choice but to chase the promise of good food through hotel, commune, and grandmothers' small-town kitchens which at once raised her up and laid her low as she learned as much about how to live a full life as she did about how to properly braise a leg of lamb.
From the trials of first love and striking deception, from a surprising range of psychiatric diagnoses to a healing entrance into the world of psychedelics, from the wealth of suburban crescents to breakfasts salvaged from the grocery's dumpster, she could not stop choosing the fire over the frying pan. Five years later, she found herself empty handed but wiser for the wear with nothing to do but follow her heart south, where she found so much more than her sideshow years had ever possessed promise of finding.
Shortly after her graduation from high school, she found herself navigating the world of employment, for which she was wholly unprepared. Being mooned by short order cooks, calling hospitals to retrieve wandering patients, and getting fired, in part, for having the hiccups confirmed what she had always suspected: adults had, at best, a tenuous grasp on sanity.
From the arms of her first love, she was compelled into the arms of lesbians and would-be transsexuals by the once-tight knot of selfhood and sexuality that finally relaxed away from the watchful eyes of the religious community into which she had been born. This was a baptism of the heart and the mind, a quenching step into the flesh with no book to map the apocalyptic road trip that would continue to follow her for two decades.
When she was nineteen and twenty, she stretched a thousand miles of the heart out of fifteen city blocks. She nearly died doing it, but then, in a really rather surprising twist, she didn't. The End.
Sometimes when I look back on particular periods of my life, I construct these dust-jacket synopses to entertain myself. I encourage you to give it a go.
If you write your own synopsis, or synopses if you are so moved, please come back and link to them here. I'd love to read them.