Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Role Playing

There are times you wish to pluck yourself out of your own life, similar to grabbing the remote control and changing the channel when a sitcom is too boring, confusing, out of control, or when the made-for-TV movie becomes utterly terrifying. Maybe the picture is scrambled or you can see nothing but static.

And so you vie with yourself for the ideal vantage point; simply observing from the outside-in, withdrawn at a safe distance. You desperately need to see yourself as a character instead of the ill-fated antagonist of your own life. It’s an enticing notion to be a star, a villain, or a hero, when there are no strings attached. Thirty minutes. Sixty minutes. One hundred twenty minutes. The credits roll and you change costumes, transform personas; attain a new back story and a fresh handful of tragic flaws.

Unfortunately, no, in reality this is impossible. Instead, you’re left sunk into the couch cushions, curled up into a trembling little ball and trying to watch the frightening parts through your fingers; or fighting back tears during those sad scenes so that no one will be the wiser. Absolutely helpless in watching your own desolation and the heartbreaking scenes where people usually empathize, sniffle, and hold each other. Don’t worry. Everything will be okay. Everything is fine.

You have to develop this willing suspension of disbelief to make it through the occasions when all elements are appearing to fall into pieces. Sharp and serrated, all points, corners and edges. You get kicked enough when you’re down and you either have to end the show or create a turning point in the plotline. Everyone loves the underdog and they worship the martyr. Sometimes it’s important to remember that the underdog may get beat and broken, but the martyr always dies.

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