Gus is an idealistic and imaginative young man who is unrealistic about everything in life. He has ‘great expectations’ for how things are going to go, is entirely too trusting of people, and assumes that he can trek across state lines and magically find his mother. She will embrace him and make him feel like he belongs – and his companions haven’t the heart to tell him that it might not come true, that she might be dead, and he may never find her at all. He spends much of his time playing games and being clever with his father, then after his death, inventing make-believe friends to interact with, and considering a “grand adventure” to find what’s left of his family. Even though his father has told him that his mother is “gone” (dead), Gus does not believe him. He thinks a deer is his mother at first, then when he finds her photo, knows in his soul that he must find her. He quickly pieces together things, knows Jepperd is his only friend (dubs him “Big Man”), and trusts him to have a better nature than Jepperd assumes he himself possesses. Gus is deeply emotional and makes decisions out of his heart, but also finds it hard to talk about his feelings. He becomes so full of anger and rage at one point, he disobeys all his father’s warnings and creates a massive fire in the daytime, by burning all of his wicker friends (and almost his stuffed animal, Dog – but he quickly yanks him out and apologizes to him). Gus has a tender, sweet nature and doesn’t understand why anyone would want to harm anyone else. He desperately craves love and attention, and looks for it from every woman he meets, idolizing notions of motherhood in a romanticized sense. He prefers not to talk about his father’s death or to draw attention to it, and cannot always explain how he feels, but also strongly bonds to other people without needing to say much. He routinely makes decisions based on his emotions combined with sentiment, such as when he becomes frustrated at his inability to garden after all his tools fail him and sets fire to it! And when he refuses to go on without Dog, because of his attachment to the last toy his father gave him. Gus is somewhat impulsive, rushing into things without thinking about them first, and also sentimental. He needs to know his roots, is horrified to learn that he might have been “created” in a lab instead of born, upset at the thought that he has no mother; nothing to attach him to the human race. He is deeply sentimental about Dog, and about some of his memories, but does not dwell on them and has no problem leaving his home behind, and “breaking his father’s rules… all at once.”

Enneagram: 7w6 so/sx

Gus soars between optimism and being fearful. He never once has negative feelings about people unless they show him how they are cruel or intend him harm, and he assumes that everything will somehow turn out all right when he finds his mother. He sees her as a potential “safe space.” Gus maintains an optimistic and cheerful enthusiasm about everything he encounters, and assumes the best of Jepperd – that underneath his gruff exterior beats a heart of gold. He assumes Jepperd will want to take him along and take care of him, which he needs because he’s rather poor at doing it for himself. His 6 wing can become easily intimidated and cowed, shrinking away whenever anyone gets upset and begging them not to fight or dislike him. But he can be over-indulgent, such as when he eats all Jepperd’s food without being asked, and then penitent. He feels better about doing things “together” and having a support system. Unfortunately, Gus can be somewhat naïve and easily mislead, such as when he assumes the people on the other end of the airplane radio are “nice” rather than out to hurt him. He even finds a reason to be grateful in captivity, because at last he has found more of his own kind!