Here are the narratives of Stephen’s life—the narratives of Stephen’s landing. More
Stephen Child is in his mid-twenties. His mother died giving birth to him, his father died accidentally when he was a little boy, and he was raised in the family of his Aunt Gloria. He has recently returned to college after taking some time off and after studying at music school. His psychotherapist, Dr. Panic-of-Loss, counsels him and is treating his nervous anxiety disorder. This disorder (a “generalized nervous anxiety”) is at the source of a recurring disillusionment and an inability to act with any sense of permanence or cohesion. In a society that seems to him to be psychologically rudderless, Stephen is in search of the psychological true north. Stephen is in love with Lydia. So deep in Stephen’s consciousness is Lydia that she has become a reference point for all that he experiences. She has, as it were, taken on the proportions of a constellation in his personal night sky—she has, as it were, become a part of his personal mythology. When he thinks he has lost Lydia and begins an affair with the middle-aged ex-model-turned-mystic Dorothea Russell, Stephen is soon given over to a series of emotional somersaults—first with Ms. Russell, then with Ms. Russell’s teen-age daughter, Dawn, and then with Ms. Russell’s assistant, Skye Bosch. Stephen is soon to discover his own personal true north, as the stars in his own constellation are about to fall into place.