Tuesday, 14 February 2012

No plot holes

There are no plot holes in life.

I may not understand why something happened. I might jump to the wrong conclusions. But, in theory at least, the more I know and the more I am able to remember, the more sense it will make, not less.

Unlike, say, the US series Heroes. One of my favourites. I could suspend disbelief to accept that people had the ability to fly or walk through walls. But not that an eclipse of the sun drags on for a whole episode and sends a continent into gloom. Fine that a telepath can make Nathan see a deceased character who could heal, but the illusion couldn't cure Nathan of his terrible burns, otherwise the telepath would have used the powers at other times. As time passes the holes puncture the fabric of the story so it can no longer sustain.

Life can be stranger than fiction; I've experienced coincidences that would be too far-fetched even for Hollywood. But certain rules are unbreakable. For example, I cannot be in two places at once. If my recollection of events requires me to have travelled on my bicycle at the speed of sound, I can be sure that there is something wrong with my memory. I have not turned into Jack Bauer from the US series 24.

In this process of remembering every day, continuity not only matters, it comes to my aid.

The Thursday when the sun shone gloriously as I cycled home mid-afternoon and a flock of white birds settled in the field by the river filled the air with sound has to be 26 January. It cannot be 2 February, because the river was frozen that day. So 2 February must be the Thursday when it was bitterly cold.

In reality, filling in the gaps completes the picture. Sadly sometimes with fiction, the more complete the picture, the more visible the holes.

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