Most of my main characters are hopeless romantics. Well, that’s how I’d go about defining them. Maybe they’re just idealists: they believe in something wholeheartedly, and they stay true to their version of the world, no matter what. Maybe all idealists are stubborn like that.
Jonathan Fisher, in The Writer, wants to become a great writer, no matter what. Chris Sommers, in Jazz, wants to be happy. Francisc Goyer, in A Sad, Sad Symphony, wants to create the perfect symphony, just so he can leave something behind. Something great. The narrator in Remember wants nothing more than to kiss the woman he’s always been in love with.
And Chris Packlem is willing to do the same thing, but he doesn’t really know what he wants. He used to think that becoming rich would solve all his problems. He was wrong.
He’s the kind of guy who spends an awful lot of time wandering around New York. I imagine that to be the ultimate proof of how lonely he really feels. How lonely can anyone feel; to be surrounded by the commotion and despair of a huge city, by all these strangers passing him by, and to feel as if the world is inhabited by ghosts. Or maybe he’s the ghost.
Of course, everything changes when he meets Alice. She’s not the woman of his dreams. No, she’s the woman he never even dared dream about.
It’s strange that I “experienced” love at first sight so many times, and yet I can’t seem to find the right words to define it. Maybe at first you’re just curious… and you can’t take your eyes off the other person. It’s a if there’s something hovering in the air, a strange energy. And maybe that’s the closest anyone ever gets to defining what love is: you’d spend the rest of your time on this earth just staring at that person. You’d do so until you’d die of exhaustion.
And in that moment you feel as if you’d want to say something… as if you have to say something. You feel as if the words are there, inside your head, but you just can’t reach them. And you want to say something no one else has ever thought of saying.
Or maybe you just want to do something… anything.
Or maybe you’re just scared.
You know that ancient Greek legend about humans originally having four arms, four legs, and a head with two faces? And fearing their power Zeus split them into two separate parts, condemning them to spend their lives in search of their other halves.
I think we spend an awful lot of time “building” that missing part. We take everything we admire from the world around us, qualities upon which our beliefs are built, we take all those great and wonderful parts we see in others. And all the novels and movies and songs we listen to. And all those strangers we see in the bus every day. And we build our missing half. It’s an unconscious process.
But every single moment that put a smile on our face, or took our breath away, we store it, and we imagine how it would be for someone to constantly make us feel like that.
And then we meet someone, and we feel as if that’s the person we’ve always been in love with.
I believe we’re all searching for the missing half: the half that’s going to make us stronger, better, the half that’s supposed to make us whole again. So powerful the gods themselves would be jealous and afraid.
They say love conquers all. Maybe it just takes away the fear of waking up in a world that neither wants nor needs you. Maybe it even takes away the fear of never waking up again.