November 27

            “Everything In Its Right Place” is playing. 

            Again? 

            On my iPhone alarm. 

            Dingling along like the warm synths should sound. I wake up and have a weird déjà vu. Has this scene already been played out? And why does it seem so familiar? 

            It’s a foggy Sunday morning and I’m not sure why I’ve woken up so early since it’s not like I’m taking my children to church or something like that. I make some coffee and check out ESPN and scroll through my emails when I see an email that has “Story Map” in the subject. I open it up and see this long list of items next to numbers. The top of the page simply says November, then has a “1,667” underneath it. 

            What’s this all about? 

            I read through the numbers. 

            1. Everything In It’s Right Place

            –Wakes up something off. Cliches of looking in mirror

            Obviously this is referring to the song. Which is strange. 

            2. Half-Remembered Dream

            –Memories—thoughts of creator—something coming—waahhh

            So maybe these are songs that are being listed. This one is the opening track for Inception by Hans Zimmer. 

            3. Hand Covers Bruise

            –Argument with woman (where’d that come from?)—Threat from stranger

            Now I know these are song titles. This is opening track for The Social Network by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. 

            What the hell is up with the whole descriptions afterwards? 

            4. Nightcall

            –Followed, dead body, feeling watched, amnesia

            I suddenly feel this weird sense of falling. Not only feeling a déjà vu but feeling a bit of voodoo as well. 

            5. Maybe You’re My Puppet

            –Stranger comes tells him a clue—name—another character from another story—“our” time isn’t finished

            6. Dreaming of Fiji

            –Dreaming of wife, family

            This has to be some kind of storyline of sorts. Like it said, a story map. But about what exactly? This makes no sense.

            Except it has some echoes. 

            7. No Surprises

            –Pay Attention! Focus on mystery of who you are! 

            Another Radiohead song. 

            8. Closer

            –Chased, rushing, cliché drama

            Nine Inch Nails. 

            Good playlist. 

            9. Mad World

            –Ominous people, watched, date continually in mind

            Obviously this story must be suspense. With a love for 80’s music like Tears for Fears. 

            10. Let’s Go Crazy

            –Losing his mind. 

            Or Prince. 

            11. Come Undone

            –Big clue, goes to PLACE, door locked. 

            Now it’s becoming a game of whether I can identify the song. Of course I can. This one is Duran Duran. 

            12. Blade Runner Blues

            –Angst, Am I Real, what’s happening

            Great selection off the Blade Runner soundtrack. I love that there’s not plot mentioned. Just feelings. 

            13. Choice

            –Action, mysteries

            Ah, I’m suddenly stumped. I checked my phone and it takes me several minutes before landing on “Choice” by Orbital. 

            14. A Dream Upon Waking 

            –Fluffy crap—middle of novel

            Another one I look up. It’s from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind soundtrack. I’m wondering if somehow I got Dermot’s story map for his book, though I hope anybody would come up with a better version for a middle of a novel over saying “fluffy crap.”

            15. The Wretched

            –Spooky scary (makes no sense)

            Like this list? 

            Another Nine Inch Nails song. Dark and spooky scary. 

            16. What is Fight Club

            –Clues again to WTT—knocking

            Clues to the what? 

            17. Walkaway

            –sees vision (wife)—she walks away

            Fight Club. Check. Meet Joe Black. Check. Two Brad Pitt films put next to each other. Know the soundtracks well and love them. 

            18. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

            –WHAT IS HAPPENING??

            I should ask the same to whoever left this bit of gibberish for me. 

            19. Black Mirror

            –More scares

            Arcade Fire. 

            20. Piano Man

            –sing-a-long drunk time

            Well, this is good. Everybody needs a Billy Joel sing-a-long while completely wasted. Have no idea what this would look like in a novel. 

            21. The Changing Lights    

            –Glimpses of reality—almost there

            The one song up above—“Here Today, Gone Tomorrow”–is one I recognize now. Ulrich Schnauss. And this one is Broken Bells. All songs I dearly love. 

            But I didn’t remember telling anybody. Did Dermot search my iTunes account? 

            22. Heartbeats and Worry

            –Terror

            23. Dream is Collapsing 

            –Things vanishing-what is happening to his world? (writer’s block)

            So is our main character a writer? What a cliché. 

            24. Love on a Real Train

            –Inspiration—follows it—like sex on a train

            If these are chapters then maybe I’d want to be in Chapter 24. 

            25. Who is Tyler Durden? 

            –Clues, freaking, other characters

            26. Pulling Back the Curtain

            -Climax—realizing the truth—debates about destroying himself

            Another I have to look up. The only song that comes up with this title is from The Game. An underrated David Fincher classic. Back-to-back Fincher cuts. 

            27. And I Will Kiss

            –Not giving up—RUNNING! 

            28. Tears In Rain

            –Maker distraught after being broke—confession

            29. Compass and Guns 

            –Why write  

            The Shawshank Redemption. 

            30. Time 

            –Character coming back home—count finished

            –knocks on door and sees guy

            –it’s me

            The last few selections have come from movies. Blade Runner, The Shawshank Redemption, and Inception.  

            The craziest thing about this email is that it came from myself. sent it to myself in the middle of the night. Something I sometimes do to remember a To-Do item. But this? This story? I never came up with an ounce of it. It does feature all the songs I love but still . . .  

            Still.  

            I look over the list. There’s nothing else to specify what this is about and why. And the fact that it came from . . . from my address, that’s strange. It’s not me. No. 

            No, I’m not the unnamed narrator from Fight Club and no I’m not imagining a best friend named Tyler Durden.     

            I check my phone and look under playlists and sure enough, there it is. 

            “November 2016”

            The playlist contains every one of these songs listed. Exactly like the email. 

            When did I put those together? 

            Creepy, crazy. 

            Bizarre and random storyline. 

            But amazing playlist. Absolutely amazing. 

            It must have come from me. 

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