Knowing Where You Are

Every now and again, I have a week where all the days feel seriously off-sync.

If I were living in a science fiction novel, I would blame waves of time disjunction passing over the landscape. Alas, I fear that I am, at best, a character in a piece of realistic prose fiction about daily life in a small New England town . . . and not even the steamy, rip-the-lid-off-simmering-scandals subgenre, at that.

Knowing what form and genre you’re currently living in is always vital, of course; what might be an appropriate reaction during time spent in an action/adventure story would be inappropriate in a domestic drama. And I totally agree with whoever it was who said, when asked about truly useful superpowers, “I’d like to be able to hear the musical soundtrack for the movie of my life.” Think about it — with a superpower like that one, you’d never have to ask yourself, “Was the muffled noise I just heard only the cat knocking something off the shelf in the laundry room, or was it an evil housebreaker of dark intent?” All you’d have to do was listen for the sinister notes of the English horn and the rumble of timpani in the percussion section, and you’d know.

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