A friend asked me if The Ring was based on my experiences as a travel writer, since near the end of the story the man thanks his friend for “coming along” and then explains that his lifestyle is “still work.”
I don’t like much to completely reveal the thoughts that go into my short stories – for no other reason than that the iceberg theory allows for individual interpretations, and too much chatter on my part could discourage the development of original opinions.
But since I answered him truthfully I feel it is only fair to share: the response to my friend’s question is absolutely.
The biggest surprise to me about the travel-writing business is how jaded some of the writers are towards new experiences. It makes sense I suppose – they’ve most likely been somewhere similar, if not “better” – that over time the excitement fades.
This idea has always been frightening to me because it’s the last thing I would want to happen – to have my past experiences cloud beauty in the present.
The character in the story is a representation of that fear, essentially suffering from all the possible infections a travel writer could contract: fatigue, loneliness, a recognition of opportunity cost (comparing his life to his friend’s), among others.
The man in The Ring represents everything I hope to avoid, stuck between a rock and a hard place, desperate for something that lasts.
There’s more – but that’s all you get for now.