I Want to Go to There!
While wandering lost in the desert, my character Venus repeatedly fantasizes her eventual rescue as a way to keep herself alive. The centerpiece of her self-sustaining vision is an ice-cold coconut piña colada she’ll enjoy in the shade of a Martian oasis:
I’m not there yet; I’m still stranded in this God-forsaken place, but the oasis is here, too, because I can see it right in front of me. It’s like they’re two different pages in a picture book I’m mentally composing, and I can flip back and forth between them in my mind.
At that time (1971) we still didn’t know whether Martian oases existed or not, although we’d begun to have some serious doubts.
The Lesson-to-Self here is that it doesn’t matter whether your goal is real or not, as long as you keep pursuing it – because that’s the only way you’ll find out. It’s like the impossibility of time travel – your goal exists in the future so there’s no way to know whether it’s real without actually going there – and you can’t do that, just yet.
There was a mind-bending episode of “The New Twilight Zone” in which space-time got out of sync and the characters found themselves wandering through a construction zone – it was their own future being built. None of it was finished yet, but presumably it would be by the time they were supposed to get there.
I want to go to there, as Liz Lemon would say. I want to go to some point in the future and see what’s being built for me, even if it’s still a work-in-progress. I want to see the framework in place, if not the finishing touches – because that would be proof enough that the future I’m envisioning is real – or will be.
Odd, I think, that the “Twilight Zone” couple didn’t grab a hammer or drill and get to work building their future just the way they wanted it to be. No, instead they fretted about how to find their way back to normality. The present, not the future, was their goal!
Two potential publishers who have expressed interest are now reading the manuscript. They are my dual Schroedinger’s Cats, the quantum agents of my unknown and unknowable future. If I could peek forward, I’d see the outcome, or at least a suggestion of it. I’d see Frances or Anita (not their real names) reading with interest, or else I’d see the manuscript abandoned on a desk or desktop (one was submitted electronically, the other as hard copy). Until I hear from one of them, both outcomes co-exist.
And that chilled piña colada will have to wait.