A recent change in fortunes has gotten me to think of a new plot line.
I went through unemployment to re-employment. I won’t go into details or bore anyone with the “meant to be” New Age axioms. But as I was leaving my new job today (which IS so much more enjoyable than my old job EVER was) I was replaying the circumstances of my departure. But instead of rewinding and replaying, I considered a new scenario. What if I said THIS instead of THAT and I never put myself in the position that lead to my separation from my old employer?
My mind did not even begin to consider the personal ramifications. I immediately went into WRITER mode and thought of a novel in which every other chapter was the same story except different, perhaps parallel, taking a different track than the main story. I am aware of a movie called “Sliding Doors” with Gwyneth Paltrow that is of the same concept and I even considered that while driving (still paying attention to the road, of course.)
That movie was seminal for me in that you could consider parallel stories. When discussing this with my wife tonight, she said that as a reader she would get confused by chapters 1 and 1a and then 2 and 2a, instead suggesting a complete story followed by Part Two titled “OR…” I know it would be difficult to get published in the manner that I had originally intended but I still believe it would be fascinating to follow parallel lives of the same character.
After my literary thoughts faded, I returned to thinking about my personal situation. I make no great philosophical claims. I am not Buddhist so this is the only life that I am aware of and I was not given a handbook at birth. We grow and we learn, as people and as writers.
These recent events may have had more gravitas because of being married instead of single, a homeowner with a mortgage instead of an apartment dweller with no responsibilities, and getting precariously closer to fifty. But they were not the worst things to happen in my life. And perhaps I am better for it. Judging one’s worth and value by an hourly dollar amount demeans the integrity of the person.
So, from a personal standpoint, there is no need to consider the IF. The writer in me is still far too curious.