Merry Whatever You Believe!
(originally posted 12/25/2019)
In yesterday’s Nap Lapkin story it ends with a ‘fourth wall’ reference that just popped into my head as I was wrapping things up (wrapping… a subconscious nod to the holiday?) and now won’t pop out.
I mention this because I was listening to a preacher on the radio the other day and he spent the better part of an hour dissecting about four or five sentences in the Bible. Breaking them all down word by word and reading into them a boatload of subtext and implied meanings. What sentences they were are irrelevant for the purposes of this discussion, as is the fact that he was a crazy person, only that it made me envious that nobody has ever done that with anything I’ve ever written.
I realize that envy isn’t exactly an emotion that you’d expect popping up in a Xmas Day blog but there it is. A festive green.
Let’s revisit the reference I referenced earlier:
“Why did you tell me that story?” asked a transfixed Erica.
After mulling it over a bit Nap replied “Because my creator put me here in this bar tonight to tell it to you. I am simply a vessel.”
(Talk about a serious next-level ‘fourth wall’ moment. Is he referring to me or God? I hope you take a moment to fully absorb and double-fully appreciate his reply.)
Was Nap aware at that moment that he was only a character in a story?
Can the same be said about us?
Is God just a bad writer?
Each one of those questions is worthy of an hour of staring off into space.
I’d really like the preacher I was listening to the other day to take a look and give me his thoughts. It might just be my ego talking but the idea of someone spending an hour talking about something that popped into my head makes me downright giddy.
In my heart, though, I think that after a few minutes the preacher would say “I think many people have posed and/or struggled with the same question… but almost all of them phrased it better” and then he would go on to give an example;
All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.
-‘Wild Bill’ Shakespeare
By the time you’re reading this all the presents have been opened but let’s pretend there is still one tucked away behind a desk (like the BB gun in A Christmas Story). What would I like it to be?
You. Yes, you.
A reader exercising their free will to visit this page, reading this and then spending a few minutes thinking about my fourth wall quote, perhaps even getting a few goosebumps thinking about all the things that led you here and how all of those events turned me into a vessel on your behalf. I realize I used the word thinking twice in the last run-on sentence and I was going to synonym it but decided that thinking is just too perfect a word to describe what I want you to do to change a single letter.
And yes, I realize that Shakespeare would never have a sentence that included “to do to” in it.
But he’s not here right now. It’s just you and me and I guess I can sum up by saying a very sincere thank you for taking the time to be here. Not the website per se, but here.
I hope you got everything you wanted under the tree (or pole or menorah or whatnot) and that you have a great holiday!