oswulf: (Default)
Hello. My name is [Insert Name Here] and I am a fictional character. You'd think this might me the right person to ask about what the life of a fictional character is like. I wouldn't. At least not as you understand identity. As you understand identity, asking me what a fictional character's life is like would be like asking a billionaire what a twenty-first century human's life is like. I am not a representative sample.

But that's your understanding of identity. It is, perhaps, equally legitimate to see identity not as a collection of disparate individuals with equal amounts of self but... part of a greater whole--and in that sense, Hamlet does legitimately have a lot more identity than Spear Carrier #3. In that sense, the experiences of the unusual individual around whom the narrative swings are more representative than the experiences of the many extras who even collectively have no more being than 'a large crowd gathered'.

You, incidentally, see identity this way too. You don't admit it, but in all honesty--every moment of your life includes you as a character. People have a tendency to inflate their own importance, even if they don't realize it. Paradoxically they also tend to underrate it. I'm not sure what to do with that.

But I am a fictional character. I am the main character in this story. You would think that being here in the middle of a superhero story would be trouble for someone who can't lift cars or fly or shoot energy beams or do anything more than anyone else. But it's not. I have the most powerful super ability of all. I am a fictional character. And I know I am a fictional character. I know that I am a protagonist. And I know how stories are told--once you have the rest of it, learning that is just common sense.

This is my story.
oswulf: (Default)
I don’t dream anymore. Or I constantly dream. I suppose I could go into some sort of sleep clinic Earthside to find out. But I doubt that the semantics of it are important and I need to keep the in-the-loop circle small.

December 21, 2012. Lots of people joked about the end of the world. Scientists easily disproved predicted catastrophes. Historians clearly showed that the Mayan calendar was being misinterpreted and had predicted no cataclysm on this date. The day was quite significant, however, at least for me. That was the day I started dreaming. Or stopped dreaming. Or began doing whatever it is that I do.

People say that they see me sleep. I suppose that my body does… my bodies do… At first I thought timing mattered, that going to sleep earlier might cause me to awaken earlier—but there is no connection. One reality just closes when I fall asleep and in that moment I awaken. The amount of time I sleep in one has no impact on the time I spend awake in the other or vice-versa.

So am I a butterfly dreaming he is a man or am I a man who once dreamed he was a butterfly? Am I a humdrum professional who has found himself improbably thrust into a life of adventure with dreams of a fantastic world? Or am I a warrior maiden in a fantastic world who has written her yen for excitement into a tedious dream of clerical work?

All this, however, is supposition and stage-setting. Philosophy and flibber-flabbering. Yes, I made that word up, it didn’t come from either side. And perhaps this is demonstrative of why *someone* ought either to shun the first person or to learn to use it more wisely. But in any case, I live in two worlds, falling asleep in one and awakening in the other. And this is the tale of how I found my new equilibrium, sneaking common commodities from one world into the other where they are rare, building fortunes both literal and figurative, and striving to make both worlds a better place for my time spent there.

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oswulf

January 2016

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