Perception is the Enemy

Perception, a glass half full or half empty and full of truths and deceit.

Been away writing. This next chapter is challenging for me. So many emotions must come to a head, and beyond that DeFalco (the villain) will make a key move. What he has to do is convince Thompson that he is an ally and that he has his family’s interests at heart. This is a tall order, but it deals with slight of hand. DeFalco is a master manipulator who has always orchestrated events to see himself come out on top, and in this chapter he makes a masterful play, he is able to drive a wedge between Thompson and the Wilder-Folk and he is able to make Thompson begin to realize that he is his only hope for survival in this new world… From this point forward Thompson will be watched closely through DeFalco’s sights.

This leads me to two of the themes I’ve been working with here, namely perception and trust. How can you trust anybody if you can’t even trust yourself? In my story it comes down to things not seeming what they are. The dystopian government pretends at having the interests of the people at its heart. The world itself can’t be trusted because not more than a few short generations ago Humanity was nearly wiped out by something called the Phantenheit virus. Beyond that Thompson is a product of his world… the world keeps its secrets from him, and he keeps his secret (The fact that he is a cyborg) from the world, his family, and even himself.

I know it’s an old trope, but it’s been fun to explore. I can see the ties to my real life plainly enough. If I’m looking for errors in perception I need look no further than childhood social studies where we learned about the 13 colonies and their “valiant efforts to spread freedom throughout America.” Later on we learned that perhaps those early motive weren’t so entirely noble. So there we have the government and propaganda, and there is probably one of the first seeds of mistrust ever sown.

Then we have first loves. When I was younger I was so sure I’d found lasting love. Heart break was hard enough when you were dealing with it for the first time, but if you’ve ever had something good fall apart on you, beyond your control, and seemingly defying all reason you face something dangerous… loss, and the realization that in some instances you are not in control of your story. I think that kind of loss is a reminder to us that we are mortal. I felt loss at the end of a relationship that felt worse than the death of a grandparent, and I’ve even felt guilt over the selfishness that. I grieved more over the loss of a woman, when no one was dying or hurt physically, and all I can say is that like most of us I am indeed flawed.

Perhaps that is the ultimate betrayal of our existence. We are allowed to live, some of us are allowed to see, or envision, how beautiful life can be and then biology catches up with us, and we die. I know, I’m sorry this post took a dark turn! We were talking about perception and trust and how those two themes worked in my current novel, but it’s interesting to trace where some of these things may have come from within the self is it not?

And that’s Thompson’s burden. He mistrusts himself, and I think that’s where he, and a lot of heroes, are most relatable to people now a days. If you ever felt like a fraud, or worried that you wouldn’t be up to the challenge of standing up for the things and the people you say you believe in then you understand the challenge of perception, trust, and doubt… self-doubt being the worst of all. If Thompson is to triumph in the end, and I think he might, then I suppose the underlying message of my story is, trust thyself.

Anyway thanks for reading,

David

PS- what themes or character traits (in books or movies, anything really) do you find resonating with you?

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