Evan Quinlan

Impossible Life

In Non-Fiction on December 6, 2011 at 5:48 pm

I wonder if Ender Wiggin could sense his words becoming ink, or if John Connor felt himself being watched by thousands of people, when they suddenly became characters in works of science fiction. Do you think a character knows when they have passed the looking-glass into a world of which they are the focal point of impossible events not just for themselves but for every stranger who listens in?

I wonder this because I’ve certainly realized it myself.  What I mean is, I am most certainly a character in a science fiction story.

That is not to say I believe you, my reader, are somehow more real than I; I don’t mean to imply that I’ve fallen into a book or movie and you are outside of it.  Rather, somehow you are part of the story.  (Perhaps you’re a rather large part of it.)  Somebody, somewhere else, though, must be reading my life—page one starting a year ago.  I know this because in no other genre, especially nonfiction, does somebody routinely enter a room that is bigger—and far more wonderful—on the inside than it is on the outside.

Some of our favorite stories use this device: Narnia waits beyond the wardrobe; the Weasley family celebrates Quidditch in their magical tent; the Doctor travels the universe in his remarkable TARDIS.  All of those things are, without a shadow of a doubt, fictional, so besides the fact that I am now living in a science fiction story there is no other possible explanation for how or why, between six and eight o’clock every weekday, I walk through a door that transports me to a place that, just a year ago, I could not have imagined possible.

This place…  You’d have to see it to believe it, but like so many stories I think it can only be seen by a few people: the ones who discovered it—the ones who love it the most.

This place…  It’s bigger on the inside.  I can tell because the whole world grows when I’m there.

This place…  It’s an unending adventure.  I know because on adventures you are aware of the endless potential and possibility ahead.  It boasts creatures beyond my understanding, who are as likely to pounce as to purr, and with whom I play an endless game of wits—with the stakes being dominion over the magical world they inhabit.

This place…  It’s filled with music that nobody ever heard before.

This place…  It’s impossible because it doesn’t exist without the presence of another person.  (Since when was real life like that?)  She built it with me, piece by piece, and together we travel in it without ever walking out the door.  She lifts me higher than the stars, washes away all worldly troubles with nothing but a smile, and warms the whole world on nights when, outside this place, it is frozen and dark.  Without her, this place would not exist.  And my life would not be science fiction.  I would live in a house or an apartment, perhaps with a dog or a cat, watching television, perhaps nourishing some aspirations of my own.  But it would be nothing like this: my impossible life; my world without end; my dream within a dream within a dream.

I wonder if this is how Ender Wiggin would feel if he met Orson Scott Card, or John Connor James Cameron.  Perhaps this is what it’s like to meet your author.

Perhaps, for all of us, there is someone out there who has written us already, and when we stumble into them one day… creator meeting created; love meeting loved… together…

…we rewrite reality.

  1. I’m truly happy for you, Evan!

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