Short Stories, Writing

What if our lives were in three act structures?

What if our lives were in three acts, like the movies?

Act One:
We would have to have an inciting incident every time we fell into a funk. We would have to develop some kind of character flaw, which was all about avoidance, backing out of the bedroom, the boardroom and the bakery when anyone pressed us too hard. We would have to start out detached, unengaged, living but not really representing what has been etched onto our past. All because of that lost love, that missed sporting chance, our parent’s expectations, and the sibling who was snatched away from us too soon – please don’t use that chipped mug it belonged to him. Please don’t use that toothbrush, it belonged to her. Please don’t mention Phil Collins – that was their favourite band. Or there was a kind of violence in our childhood, something that makes us flinch now, makes us shut the door in the face of anyone we trust.
Or maybe we start out okay. We are in an okay relationship. Nothing special, it’s totally fine except they never buy the milk when it runs out. Or they always buy milk but it’s not the brand you like. Or they buy milk but it’s just not for you – and you watch from afar as they giggle with someone else in the dairy aisle. Or they are evil, and you’re too stupid to see. You buy all the milk whilst they lie in bed, smelling of sex with someone else. Or maybe you start out too self involved, too kind, too quiet or better yet, quiet but without the confidence to believe in yourself. Maybe you start out perfectly fine, you’re just an underdog that needs to be challenged. You need to be tested, your morality is in the desert for 40 days with the devil, or you’re at a high school full of bitches who you’ll meet at a reunion and they never left that small town, but look at you! You invented post it’s and Facebook!

Act Two:
Then you need to fall out of the funk, the improvement or utilisation of that special skillset of yours, or maybe you’re on the wrong path but with the right guy, you just take every thing for granted at the moment, one day they will let you write about international news instead of dresses and relationships, one day they will notice how great you are at television production, just don’t let your ego get the better of you yet. Don’t feel safe until your business is truly a success, sure the PR business is working out now but your heading for your second fall because you didn’t choose your family over success. And everything would get better for a while, or eventually, over the course of this year, because you had overcome your demons, gotten that job, left that loser, met that redeemed former loser, stopped being a loser, won the championship or accepted that it isn’t about winning because you had changed. You have to change for this three-act thing to work.

Act Three:
But you can’t relax yet. You must not get cocky, because you have to bottom out again, but worse then before, worse then the start because you let it all in and you got drunk and sang karaoke beautifully, but inside you were hurting, and you had sex with all the people you should not have done, and you cried in the shower and ignored all your friends and parents answerphone messages. Not on your cell phone, or mobile, but on your answering machine, because they would call your house. It was scary for a while when you were self medicating and locking your bedroom door but then that child said that thing which made you believe in yourself, and now your going to score the winning goal, and tell everyone at the board room that you don’t need to sell your soul to be a success, and that small businesses should not be crushed because this is America land of opportunity. And your girl, who will have one foot on the tarmac, will be swept up in your arms at the last minute up and you will be wearing your generic armed forces uniform and everyone will cheer, and your rival will slip on that banana, and those bitches at school will never leave that small town, but you will get to leave in some kind of exciting mode of transport, with an aesthetically pleasing man on your arm who sees your inner beauty, although your outer beauty is pretty hot too, but that’s irrelevant because you won the championship and round house kicked that baddy in the face. Then you will stroll past that shop window, and oh look there’s your book with your face in the window display, and don’t you know it’s a best seller, and that article you wrote on refugees got you a big promotion and you hugged your estranged mum for the first time and she told you she was proud of you, she always was, maybe more so you have worked out every little thing that was wrong with your life. And then Nicholas Cage is there, and he has rescued all the orphans from the future zombie climate STD virus and you walk into the sunset whilst everything explodes behind you, and then you fade from existence because there is no forth act.

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