Mark is sitting in his office, staring at his computer, but he is unable to concentrate. His mind keeps wondering, and for some strange reason he gets a flashback about his first boat ride.
He had been about five, and his parents had rented a boat. He was excited to be going out into the open water, watching the waves ripple in the ocean, and seeing where the edge of the light blue sky touched the dark blue water. “Let’s drive up to the sky so that we can touch it,” he asked his dad. His dad laughed, and he explained to Mark that it was impossible to touch the sky. “Sometimes our eyes lie to us, and although it looks like the sky is touching the ocean, there is actually no place on earth where that happens.”
This disappointed Mark for a variety of reasons. For one thing he had wondered how the sky would feel; would it have been cold and wet like the ocean, or dry and scratchy like the sand? However, the main reason he was disappointed, was because something that he perceived to be a reality, had turned out to be an illusion. Of course at the time Mark did not know words like perception, reality, and illusion. He had simply been disappointed, and later in his life when he recalled that memory, he had added those words to explain his emotions. It seemed to Mark that he always perceived things wrong. Liz always chastised him for over analyzing everything, but Mark felt he did not analyze enough.
Mark remembers how he had once taken Liz to see a play. They had been dating for two months, and Mark had planned on ending things with Liz. However, that night, after the play ended, Liz had told him she had an amazing time, and she gave him the strongest hug he ever had in his entire life. At the time he decided that he did not want to end a relationship with a person that was so enamored by him. Thinking back now, perhaps Liz had not been enamored by him, but had simply really enjoyed the play, and she had given him that hug to show her gratitude to him for taking her. If he had read the signals right that day, maybe he would not be sitting in his office today, unable to work because he is trying to figure out at what moment their marriage had stopped making Liz happy.