I don’t even know where to start with these stories. I think they say it all.
If you’re of the uninitiated, then I give my heartfelt apologies, these stories are impossible to understand. (And probably also a little offensive.) They play out like something of an inside joke and are of no indication as to my actual ability as a writer.
It’s been nearly ten years since they were first begun. I wrote Series One: The Frampton Menace during the year following graduation: the latter half of 2001 up until the end of summer 2002 (as Episode 7 was scribed during those several months I spent in England). I’m fairly certain Series Two took longer to write, from 2002 up until perhaps even 2004. The mention of the Iraq war in Episode 13 is my only good barometer for establishing some kind of chronology (I would have made a lousy archaeologist….) The Snobbit was written sometime in 2004, I think. Definitely after Return of the King came out.
It’s strange reading them now, when so much has changed. I’ve since passed the age Savannah was when I started the stories. At the time, I felt like I was projecting a strange idealized version of how I imagined my life would be by now. But it wasn’t really me, which is why I think I gave her a different name. Funny how things don’t work out how you imagine.
In truth, my life is far closer to the guys than to Savannah’s. It’s funny indeed. (I actually have Hitchhiker’s AND Star Trek posters up in my house. And I love them.) They’ve all got it together, while I’m the one still figuring everything out. We’ve said how most of the things in the stories is either based on a true story or ended up a true story, as though I had some kind of strange superhero power where anything I wrote came true. I did have more stories planned, but never finished them. The last episode (Episode Fifteen: Monkeys), then ended up strangely prophetic for me.
But then again, somethings don’t ever change. The person who best exemplified that was Jon Frampton.
There’s no better way to describe Jon than he was…. Jon. Jon-Jon, Frampy, Frampypants, Jonny-Jet, the Frampinator… however you knew him, he was something else. You only meet someone like Jon once in your life.
The old adages ‘the truth is stranger than fiction,’ ‘it’s so crazy, must be true,’ and ‘you just can’t make this shit up,’ well, that all applied to Jon. I will never be able to write a character as hilarious, sincere, or genuine as Jon Frampton.
I think that was part of why I felt I needed to create these stories in the beginning. Sure, part of it was that glorious type of self-mythologizing that most young people tend to undergo at some point in their lives, but usually most people do it in a nostalgic fever looking back down the road. It was like we were rewriting our own crazy history as it was happening. There was just something so wonderfully bizarre and beautiful about Jon that I felt like I needed to immortalize him somehow. Even though were were all of eighteen at the time.
I’ve always written as my way of interpreting the world and the people I know within it. Even as fantastic and ridiculous as these stories are, and as poorly written as they are (I’ve gotten better, really, I have!), they are a snapshot of a point in history. Of 2001-2003 as it was happening, ripe with the symptoms of the early post-9/11 era and all the pop culture that accompanied it.
They are a snapshot of that time in our life. A time when all we saw were the stars. When the future was infinite.
With that in mind, it is now that I want to share them again. And not in the various rewrites I’ve attempted over the years, trying in vain to keep up with my changing self and style, but as they were when they were first written. As that snapshot. Because that is what they are.
So thank you, everyone that appears somewhere in this text, you know who you are.
And thank you, Jon.
My life is better for having known you, and I will love and miss you forever.
– Ashleigh Rajala (2010)