So December 8, 1980 – anyone remember? I was already in bed when I got the news, via my sister calling from a bar, that John Lennon was dead – murdered.
Sometimes I look back and think that was the line. December 7th I was a child. December 9th I was an adult. I think my whole life can be divided up into a kind of before and after game. Before I had my daughter, and after. Before I met my husband, and after. Before I wrote my first screenplay, and after. Before 9/11 and after. Before my dad died, and after. Before I was one person, after I am someone else.
This comes from storytelling. In every good story the trajectory is reformed after some random or not so random event. Sometimes, especially in good stories, it’s a choice. Sometimes it’s just a coincidence. Often it’s a mistake.
In one of my current projects, my still unfinished 2011 NaNoWriMo manuscript, my main character obsesses about what might have happened had she only thought to latch a bathroom door. For her there is life before she didn’t lock the door and life after, altered forever.
I guess this is a turning point? To me that’s a trite way of defining it. I suppose because I am quite convinced by the multiverse theory, a turning point I view now as more of a creation point. That choice, that mistake, that incident creates a whole new universe.
Bang! Mark Chapman shoots John Lennon dead, and our universe is born. Click. He doesn’t shoot him. And that creates another universe. Anyway, all I know is that every year I wish I could just visit that other universe, even for a day.