Day Twenty Four
Ted's Thirty Day Awakening
Ted, as he is apt to do, started working on Thursday. Like most of us, Ted quickly loses interest in projects, especially if they become routine or easy. So, by having several projects in the works at all times, Ted’s able to use each one as a mental break from the others, making it possible for him to bring his A-game to each project on a more regular basis. Additionally, this practice cross-pollinates ideas and methods between the projects making each better than it ever would have been had he been stuck working on it alone.
It’s worth noting that, Thursday was a story that, like That’s Unicorn Piss, had been in Ted’s head for decades. He just hadn’t made the time to write it down. But now, through the generosity of family, friends, and others not only did he have the time, Ted also had something he needed even more—someone monitoring to make sure he finished. All excuses, real and imaginary, had been obliterated. Ted had but one option: WRITE.
“some might say that explorers become explorers precisely because they have a streak of unsociability and a need to remove themselves at regular intervals as far as possible from their fellow men.” ~member of the Royal Geographical Society circa 1908
There was little doubt that our explorer, currently perched atop an Atlas 5 rocket, was unsociable. Even in the darkest corners of society, the acts our explorer had performed on man and beast alike were inexcusable, and far too gruesome to talk about here. But, unlike explorers of the past who had been driven by the desire to be the first to set foot on virgin soil (even when first only meant first of their race) our explorer had no such desire. Exploring was merely the lesser of two evils.
“Death by lethal injection or,” the judge had paused fully aware that the world was watching, “a one-way ticket into space,” another attention- (or spotlight-) grabbing pause, “without any means of return.” Looking up from the screen and directly at our would be explorer, the judge added, “Those are your choices, which do you choose?”
Without hesitation, our explorer replied, “I choose space.”
You see, our explorer faced a heads you lose tails you lose dilemma: leave the planet in a spacecraft, alive, or leave in a gas chamber, dead. Years alone speeding away from earth was more appealing than death. Besides, deep down, no matter how hard you find it to believe, our explorer cherished life.
The last time millions of people had paused to watch the launch of a spacecraft was 1969 when Apollo 11 blasted off carrying the first astronauts that would set foot on the moon. Today the world paused to witness a killer turned explorer begin a journey into the heavens.
The same papers that had splashed “Serial Killer Chooses Space” on the front page a few months back, now ran the headline “World’s Most Notorious Serial Killer to Become First Human to Leave Our Solar System.”
“Three, Two, One, and we have liftoff of the first manned mission to the edge of our solar system and beyond.”
“Good start,” Ted thought as he closed his laptop.
There was nothing more important to Ted than the first page of a story. Ted knew he would draft and re-draft this opening many times before he had something he liked. Eventually, as the story evolved, he would circle back and rewrite the page until he felt it worthy of publication and tantalizing enough to hook the reader.
Confetti no longer littered the living room and the check was gone. Everything had been picked up, cleaned, and put away. Now, with order restored Ted felt at home again. Strange, how just a few weeks ago, sitting in this same spot, Ted had felt ill at ease. Had that much changed or was it Ted’s view of the situation that had changed? Knowing he could pay the bank’s current asking price for the condo, as well as the outrageous fee for the months he had lived there for free, made it all less stressful. But the reality was, this was the bank’s condo, not his. And all that was keeping the bank from evicting him tomorrow was the bad press they feared would come their way. Had Ted not drifted off into a coma, he would not be sitting here. More than likely he would be down by the marina, under the bridge.
Funny, how after all that had transpired over the last few years, the stress, the pills, the despair, the only thought that kept racing through Ted’s mind was how upset he was that he had no recollection of the time he was comatose. He wished he recalled something, anything, but it was a blank slate. As much a void as his memory of a time before he was four. In fact, he recalled more about [dreams he had when he was five] than his time in a coma. He felt cheated. “Recalling nothing of my coma is as depressing as going to the rink and not getting to skate,” Ted thought. “Better not to have gone than to go and not create a lasting memory.”
Since emerging from the coma, Ted had been taking a long hard look at life. A look well beyond anything he had done in the past. Surprisingly, Ted felt he was close to an epiphany like no other. Ted believed that he was about to uncover the secret to making his life bigger and brighter than it had ever been before. And he was confident that finding his passion, reaching his potential, and pursuing happiness would not be part of his awakening. Something was making ripples in his beliefs, and it was tantalizingly close to breaking free and revealing itself.