This is the theme song from Gladiator, a top 5 favorite movie of mine. And every time it comes on my Pandora writing station, I get that feeling that leads to better writing. Sometimes it only lasts a few minutes, but I suppose the best writers can summon this feeling as needed. I, on the other hand, require music to unlock it. And today it was this song. Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 1.
…he learned that for the most part he hated this job. Software sales wasn’t something he had any passion for, or any real talent for that matter, but the money was good, and that seemed to justify it. The hours of his life apparently had a price, and sometimes he was ashamed at the negotiated rate at which he sold them. But with all it took from him, it gave him a few things too. He lived a middle class life, somewhere in the upper half of society. The part of middle class where you live in a two thousand square foot house in the fifth nicest neighborhood in the city. The part where sushi and a twenty-dollar bottle of wine is a special occasion and not the norm. The part where vacations consist of a weekend away and not two weeks in Europe. Where a four year old BMW means ‘new’ and ‘classy’. Where shopping is done out of need or holiday, and not boredom.
But all the downs in his life only made the ups seem that much more palatable. And today was an up day by all accounts. Today was a day when he felt like he had more than he did, when he felt ‘lucky’. You see, the best part of his life was home waiting for him. Her name was Caroline, and today was her birthday.
Caroline was beautiful, and the prized joy of Winston’s life. Without her, this would feel like a crummy dead-end job, where he wasted his life away on dollars he could live without, while fluorescent lights sucked his soul out from above, and his computer screensaver displayed dreams of far off wonders he would never see. But knowing he had Caroline made it all worth it. It made this tiny room seem like a large office, this building like his castle, and his work seem important and noble. These useless dollars now had a use for him. They made it possible to have two thousand square feet of middle class life with a beautiful woman whom he adored. They made sushi and twenty-dollar bottles of wine on special occasions such as her birthday possible. Yes, today was most certainly and ‘up’ day for Winston…