Plot Deviations§

writer: russell j.t. dyer; posted: February 23, 2006; revised: April 23, 2018; readers in past month: 560

The American Train
Cadorna Station, Milan

After having lived with one or more plots for so many years, despite my noble obsevation in my last posting on living without a plot, I must admit that it’s not easy going without one. I also want to admit that when a potential plot draws near me, I jump at it without thinking sometimes — causing problems for myself and potentially others. For instance, should a woman come along who offers an interesting plot twist, I have difficulty resisting the temptation to join her plot. Every plot regardless of its compatibility to me and my nature, or its likelihood of happiness, seems better than no plot at times.

Some plots offer benefits such as a path of less resistance. I’m not suggesting women who seem easier to win over, but rather women who resolve certain friction in my life, who might make my life easier by their location or other factors. For instance, a woman showing an interest in me who is located in the United States might have the added temptation of providing me an excuse to return to the U.S., to end my struggle with learning Italian and dealing with foreign life. Although I’m pleased to be in Italy and traveling, it is an emotional struggle. There are times in which I want to give up, but don’t because I don’t want to feel like a loser. However, a woman who could draw me back to the U.S. could be an excuse for leaving Italy: ‘It’s not that I couldn’t endure life out in the world, but that I had a better opportunity back in the U.S. I’m not a loser, but a romantic.’ This is what I feel poised to tell myself and others when I encounter certain plot twist opportunities.

Over the years, I have developed certain credibility problems with myself. Being a talker, too often I have woven a good story of why I am doing something contrary to my desires or not doing what I should or want to do. In my earlier years I would believe these stories and hoped that others would share my beliefs. When I would tell someone my elaborate excuse for a particular situation I had created for myself, if they would not believe it or would dispute it, it would upset me greatly and I would attempt to argue my position passionately in the hopes of persuading them. It would make me very angry to have my reasoning questioned in this area. I hoped that if everyone believed my excuse, my actions were justified. The flaw, of course, was that I was only making myself miserable by perpetuating courses of actions which were not in keeping with my nature or what I really wanted in life. Fooling myself and anyone who would listen did me no good.

As I’ve gotten older, however, I’ve grown tired of weaving and telling such stories. When I hear them being told by me — especially after a few airings — I become skeptical of my true reasons. I am incredulous to myself and quickly become tired of my story. It doesn’t take me long before I stop the performances and begin to question my true motives.

In recent years, fortunately, before I can tell anyone (other than my best friends) a story which contradicts me, I begin to question it. I challenge it. And if I cannot debunck it, sometimes I simply stop telling it and cease all action associated with the story until I can be sure of my true intentions. So, when a plot twist is offered to me and I suddenly see merit in it and rapidly whip together a supporting story as to why I should pursue this new and contradictory path, I become leary of myself. This is how I have matured. However, it’s a shame in a way in that it drains the spontanaity and passion out my actions; it makes me less romantic. This worries me. In the attempt to become happier, I don’t want to become more boring that I already am. I don’t want life to become too predictable and contain no interesting twists