Years ago, I had the idea for a story.
The main character, a middle aged banker with a very normal life, begins to have a recurring dream. In the dream, he is a super spy, living an exciting life of Ferraris and espionage and beautiful women. He looks forward to the dream every night, becoming more and more addicted to it.
Then, after a very long time, his super spy character begins to fall asleep every night at the precise moment when the banker wakes up into his ordinary life. This comes at a time when the super spy persona is feeling very lonely. The comfort of the banker’s life appeals to him, and the roles are essentially reversed. The spy doesn’t enjoy his life anymore. He just wants to dream that he is a banker.
This continues for years until gradually, he forgets which one came first. Is he a super spy having recurring dreams that he is a banker or is he a banker having recurring dreams that he is a super spy? Both seem equally plausible.
Lack of clarity drives him to the brink of insanity. Both worlds seem like dreams. Neither seems real.
Ultimately, he reaches a breaking point. There is one way he can know with certainty which world is real.
If he leaps off a building in the dream world, he will wake in the real world.
If he leaps off a building in the real world, he will die.
The book ends with the leap. It does not say what happens when he lands because it doesn’t matter. The point of the story is that there is value in whichever kind of life you choose to lead but after a while, it can becoming mundane and you will want something else.
The crazy thing is to try to stay the same. To identify as one thing forever and ever. You must be able to let go.
If you are a super spy that wants something ordinary, you can make it happen.
And it may take more work, but if you are a banker that craves the excitement of espionage, well…
With determination, you can make that happen too.
For over ten years, I played music. That was how I defined myself.
I retired from that life back in November. Now I am an author. That is how I define myself.
If the writing this doesn’t pan out, that’s ok. I’ll become something new.