December 1996

Root Page of Article: Going Into the Woods, by Christine Boese

Why would you WANT
to go to a show ten times?

This was no ordinary show, and it also bore little resemblance to those Murder Mystery Weekends that were popular for a while in rickety old hotels.

The show was staged in an old mansion, and when you came to the door your ticket was punched and you were let in. The play was going on as you entered. There were no official seats. The audience became part of the drama. As a result, you could walk anywhere you pleased.

Dave said the first couple of times he just wandered around aimlessly, hanging around whatever action caught his interest. He said it was a good show, so there were plenty of interesting things to watch. However, he couldn't quite figure out all of what was going on. That was another reason why he had to keep coming back.

By his third or fourth night, Dave decided to just pick one character and follow him everywhere the whole night. This was an improvement, so he continued the strategy.

One night he picked one of the servants to follow. This led him downstairs, to the servant's quarters, where he was surprised to find a whole other story going on. He said everyone was having sex with everyone else, complicating the upstairs plots as well.

The what amazed Dave was that he never saw the same play twice. He felt that he was seeing a different performance every night.

I figured my life was a lot like being in the audience of that play. How many people actually encounter their lives as PLOTTED? Nothing ever happens to me as Rising Action, Complication, and Climax. I don't have Sudden Epiphanies. If Art Imitates Life, it surely doesn't imitate mine.

Usually weird connections between unrelated things stew and simmer in my body until something resembling a realization burbles up to my brain and I actually figure something out. I go through life perpetually confused, feeling like I never have enough background information to put all the pieces together, but I am always close, very close, achingly close.

Sometimes I think of the need for plot as a tyranny.

On the other hand, something very like an epiphany was coming my way.

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