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The Scriptwriter

The plots for our lives are written in the back room of a sleazy bar by a no-name genius. Our own, more plausible narratives get stood on their heads by his prodigious but heartless invention. Our stories make sense: Children outlive parents. Love endures. Things happen for a reason.

The scriptwriter decides otherwise. Who pays his bills, keeps him in cheap booze so he can turn out these twisted scenarios day after day, century after century?

And it’s not just our private lives he scripts. Think of the other shocking stuff he comes up with. We thought we knew we were made in the image of the creator of the universe, immortal, destined for eternal bliss. This Darwin character, the scriptwriter’s brainchild, tells us we’re second cousins to the slime on our shower curtains. Others like him can prove the rocks we stub our toes on are nothingness populated by a sprinkling of atoms, themselves just bits of unpredictable energy.

The scriptwriter breaks our hearts, destroys our faith as casually as you or I break an egg. His characters’ misery, the cruel twists of the plot we have to live as real life, are no concern of his. He gets paid by the line: so many drinks for so many lives upended by the unthinkable. He must feel contempt, if he feels anything at all, for the feebleness of our imaginations. Does he read our plays and novels, watch our movies? Naive as those are, our personal expectations for the real world are no better. We see happy endings, justice, a purpose to our existence. Our gullibility only eggs on the Scriptwriter, knowing as he does that fools like us deserve the worst he can dish up.