Getting to know Gary Archer - my antagonist for Manicotti and Murder
|I do not know much about Gary Archer, other than that he is the protagonist. He was an only child. His parents were killed – probably in a car accident. He went to live with his Aunt Betty and Uncle Todd Farner. They were unable to have children and were happy to have him.
Gary spent the second half of his childhood around the amusement park. Betty and Todd sent him to college for business. He dropped out in the beginning of his second year, which was not the worst thing in the world, as he was about to get kicked out anyway.
Gary had many problems throughout his life. He has an addictive personality and, Betty and Todd suspected, was into drugs when he was in high school. After he dropped out of college, they attempted to groom him to run the amusement park, but Gary just found it as a way to meet women, and frequently had a new girl every night. One of those women, Rita Smith, he would eventually marry. But it was not long before he was in jail, leaving Rita alone. He found out Rita was pregnant before he went to jail the second time, being charged with a criminal drunken driving incident. He beat her severely, but she never told anyone. She miscarried shortly after. Gary did not care. He just knew he would not have to have a kid to worry about, and he was okay with that.
When Gary got out of jail Rita had already filed for divorce. He did not fight it. He didn’t want her around anymore anyway. He wanted his freedom. They had been married for three years and he still had whatever woman he wanted that came through the park. He found it funny, because Rita had met all of them first, as the ticket master at the front entrance of the park.
While Gary was not drop-dead gorgeous, his crisp green eyes and dark hair, as well as his olive complexion, stirred the hearts of many women. He wore his hair a bit too long, with a beard and mustache always perfectly groomed. He had a killer smile and knew all the right things to say to take a woman off to the darkest corners of the amusement park.
If a woman ever came back looking for him, thinking there was more to it, he often got violent with them, at times finding himself more trouble. He had gotten beaten up several times and spent a few nights in jail. But he was accustomed to the place and knew he would always be getting out quick. His Aunt and Uncle would make sure of it. He had no idea how much money they had, but he knew they were “loaded.”
Gary would never have a normal, healthy relationship. I think his father was an abusive alcoholic. In fact, the reason his parents are dead is likely because of a drunk driving incident caused by his father. He would have a great deal of animosity against his father for this. He would also tend to never have a healthy relationship after being brought up in that atmosphere. Betty and Todd would not completely understand. Gary’s mother, Betty’s sister, would explain away all of the bruises and broken windows. Betty would take it all in stride. And Gary hated that neither she nor Todd would ever help. So, even though they tried to do right by him when they were granted custody of him, his hate was too strong.
Gary has now replaced his other addictions with gambling. He has an associate he goes through, and to whom he now owes a great deal of money. Every time the guy, who needs a name yet – Tyler? No. Better name than that. Chaz. Every time Chaz tells him on who or what to bed, Gary does it. Rarely, if ever, does it pay off. Chaz will also never steer Gary in the right direction when he picks long odds.
Gary still feels he will hit a big payday someday. The world owes it to him. He has been through enough, in his mind, and it has always been someone else’s fault. The world owes him a win. He should not have to work for it. He is tired of being called a “carnie,” and he is going to make it someday. He is going to hit a big payday with his gambling. He can feel it. To that end, he feels no remorse in taking money from his aunt and uncle. If they had done something about what happened to him as a kid, he thinks, he would feel differently. But they owe him, too. They owe him.