Thursday, September 10, 2009

And like that, poof. He's gone.

The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.
- Verbal Kint while talking about Keyser Soze,
The Usual Suspects
It is a common theme in movies for people to "disappear". Due to fortuitous circumstances they are able to leave their current life behind and set up shop elsewhere. Since movies require drama, these subterfuges are rarely permanent. Eventually, the past comes back to claim the protagonist.

Some say that art imitates life. Others insist it is the other way. After reading this story, I am not sure which is true. But I do know one thing, all the people who got caught are the failures. The real successes are folks who got away with it and we do not know how they managed it. Still, it makes for a fascinating human story.
The urge to disappear, to shed one’s identity and reemerge in another, surely must be as old as human society. It’s a fantasy that can flicker tantalizingly on the horizon at moments of crisis or grow into a persistent daydream that accompanies life’s daily burdens. A fight with your spouse leaves you momentarily despondent, perhaps, or a longtime relationship feels dead on its feet. Your mortgage payment becomes suddenly unmanageable, or a pile of debts gradually rises above your head. Maybe you simply awaken one day unable to shake your disappointment over a choice you could have made or a better life you might have had. And then the thought occurs to you: What if I could drop everything, abandon my life’s baggage, and start over as someone else?

No comments: