About 14 people in all of history have died for every one person living today. Upon reading this statistic the first time in a John Green novel, I could not help but imagine how I might have a certain 14 souls assigned to my life in a way, possibly in a way that allows me to be living this very day. Wouldn't it be lovely just to think about how these 14 people all could have taken some residence within me - together in parts making me the person I've become? I'm sure some people would despise this idea, saying they prefer to think they are wholly unique from anyone who ever lived. But I find it comforting to think it possible that a great person in history may be living in part through me. Unless, of course, you get the ruddy lot of a part of Hitler (but I'll be positive and say that whomever is the living incarnate of sorts for him may have been granted his artistic part, as I've heard he was a good painter). I mean wouldn't it be fracking awesome if a part of me was Jane Austen?
I've tried to tackle this theory into a fictional story, but any way I try to put it together, it gets messy from a religious aspect. Who gets part of Jesus? And I can't rightly call him Jesus and exclude all other religions.
Regardless, I like the idea for me. I've fantasized about who my 14 people would be. Who is living through me day by day? Which is my own quintessentially unique bit, and what kinds of people make up the rest of me? Do I have a tendency for travelling because one of my parts was a gypsy? Did one of my parts sit around campfires and make up long, impossible stories to tell his or her friends as I love to do in my writing?
Mostly I like just to imagine that about half of the 14 parts of me satirized many of life's trivial experiences, as I often do to shake things up a bit. Lately I've found myself more than ever quitting reading and watching the kind of stories I've seen repeated more than enough for a lifetime. I crave something new, and that's what I found lately in reading James Joyce's Dubliners and Seamus Deane's Reading in the Dark. Both are quite similar stylistically, but they each have introduced to me spins on what would normally be nausea-inducing old stories. Likewise, I think this is why I've come to respect so much more over time things like The Perks of Being a Wildflower, The Book Thief, and the new movie with Rachel McAdams "About Time." They're no nonsense/no bullshit stories, and sometimes that's exactly what we need to stop the autopilot on our lives and think about what's important in them.
So that's the subject on which I fantasize. If you ever see me staring into space, I'm liking thinking, "I'm the freaking incarnation of Jonathan Swift and Jane Austen, satirists of our daily lives!"