Chapter 5 - Literary Loops - Tiny Muha
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Page 1 - Chapter 5 - Literary Loops

Page 1 - Chapter 5 - Literary Loops

"Being lost is never a matter of not knowing where you are; it’s a matter of not knowing where you aren’t."
~The Phantom Tollbooth

Having veered off course by 200km, I decide to call it a night. Greg drops me off somewhere north of Bourke that he deems is "safe." I wander past some horses and down to the banks of the Darling River. I think about pulling a McCandless and paddling my way to the ocean. Something about rural Australia doesn't seem like it has quite the poetic potential of Mexico. Instead I stumble directly into a scene from Of Mice and Men that has been smoldering deep in my subconscious since my freshman year of high school.

George and Lennie are huddled around a campfire under a tree on the bank of a river.
"Hello!" I yell from across the river, interrupting George & Lennie's conversation about the mouse.
"Jesus! Who is that? Where are you?" George responds.
"Over here. Just across the river from you."
"What're you doin over there?"
"Just finding a place to sleep for the night. Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you."
"Ha! We thought you was the cops! What're you sleepin there for? You want to come join us for some beans?"

I have thought about time travel before and its potential to alter the course of history. But I have never thought about the implications of inserting myself into a novel. Maybe I'll be able to stop Lennie from killing that puppy. Would the story still be a classic if I did that? If so, maybe high schoolers the world over will be studying me. Maybe I have already studied myself and am stuck in a literary loop, playing out my role in the story over and over. Maybe my entire life is just the vivid imagination of a young child reproducing an author's creative whims.

As I consider all these possibilities I feel as though I understand the dilemma Owen Wilson must have felt in Midnight in Paris. Like Alice, I yawn and drift to sleep in the midst of so many confusing possibilities.