This is the story of a young man who thought he had it all until he fell and his eyes were opened to the beauty of life that had been right in front of him all along. Protagonist Paul believes things couldn't be going better. As an influencer with 2 million followers on Instagram his job is to explore the world’s best surf pots while constantly filming himself. One day he injures his foot while filming himself surfing. Thomas, a guy who works in the beach bar, comes to his aid. Caught up in his self-pity, Paul tells Thomas to leave him alone. Unable to create content, Paul loses followers every day and realises that he has no real friends. Thomas shows up again and convinces him to take a trip into the beautiful countryside. Still unable to walk, Paul depends on the help of Thomas, who has prepared a trailer for him on his bicycle. Paul feels weak and deprived of his masculinity, but he cannot help but enjoy the sight of the scenery and Thomas' jokes. Paul gets to see the world for what it is and to share it with his new friend. Live, not on screen.
Both the names of the main characters and their personalities (transformations) originate from the New Testament. My main source is 2 Corinthians 12:7, where the Apostle Paul(us) speaks about how a thorn was given him in his flesh, so that he would not become conceited. The suffering keeps him grounded, makes him humble and modest. The thorn can be read as a metaphor for illness and injury. My main character, Paul, is quite detached and arrogant, but when he gets hurt, his life changes abruptly. Paul's “thorn in the flesh”–his injury to the foot–literally brings him back down to earth. Another passage I used is John 20:24, that I call "Thomas and the wounded man". My second character is based on another apostle, called Thomas (Aramaic: "twin"). Based on that meaning, he becomes a true companion and a reflection of Paul's inaccessibilities. Like a mirror, Thomas' kindness and authenticity encourages Paul to reflect on his way of living. In the Bible Thomas touches Jesus' wounds, in my story Thomas meets the wounded man, Paul. The Apostle Thomas has a particular mundane way of thinking, which is tied to direct personal experience. This is in contrast to Paul's virtual, immaterial world.