I struggle with it. (Definition here). I am so literal minded that flights of fancy elude me, or should I say flights of fanciful elude me. I have trouble setting aside reality and accepting something other, which has become the premise for the presentation – be it movie, play, novel, poem. It’s probably why I am not a fan of science fiction, or fantasy films or stories.
Lately we have sampled some tv shows that are based in previous centuries, particularly the 19th. Whatever the stories were, the thing that I focused on was – the dirt. I could not get passed how dirty everything was; how dirty the people were; filth offends me; dirt offends me. What ran through my mind, while watching what may have well been a good story, was – “Eww – how did people live that way?” “Where’s the bathroom?” “When did they last have a bath?” “How did people survive in those conditions?” That’s all I can think about. I can’t see past it.
Then there is my eye for the small details which interrupt my attention on the story. You know the kind I mean. A woman gets out of a car, without a handbag, rushes into a building, and then is immediately seen reaching into her handbag! Wait, what? Where did that come from, she didn’t have it 30 seconds ago when she got out of the car. And that is a simple one. Nevermind more egregious ones, where in the space of time of a camera pan between two people, all of a sudden clothing is different, or a prop has disappeared. I see that. It annoys me.
And my obsession with dates. The first time I read ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’ I wound up taking notes because the dates never matched up with the ages or the span of years in the story. Pages and pages of notes, which I actually typed up and sent to the publisher.
And that is my life – seeing the details. Seeing all the itty-bits. The big picture eludes me. Yet I can follow a detail into the future. I can see all the possibilities of one little action or decision, which can then immobilize me from any further action/decision. I am not a risk taker. And it is not so much that I crave certainties as that I need to know where I’m going and how I’m going to get there before I start a journey – of any kind.
Which is probably why, after reading the first few chapters of a book, I read the end. Then I go back and read from where I left off in the beginning.
‘It’s not the destination, it’s the journey’ – not for me.