After wrestling with two ideas, I've decided to explore the more high-concept idea that will really explore the ideas of memory, regret, nostalgia, and resentment. The working title is "Low-Key."
The premise. A guy has a ring of keys - each key is crafted by the enigmatic locksmith and represents someone with whom he has an intimate relationship - an ex, a childhood friend, a parent, a mentor. When he uses these keys on doors, he walks into a living memory he shares with the person the key represents.
He uses these keys to reminisce, to remember when he was happier, when he is nostalgic, when he forgets something, when he's lonely.
I'm really trying to work out the story beats. I want the story to follow how the main character wants to reconnect with his old childhood friend, and figure out why they had a falling out. He takes his friend to walk through his memories alongside him, which should make the exposition more palatable if it's being explained to a good friend. At some point, he needs to realize that there is something wrong with him, that HE is part of the reason why he feels isolated. He trades in all of his keys for a key that represents HIM. But when he uses that key, what does he find? Whatever the case, he learns to free himself from the metaphorical cage of resentment and bitterness and learns not to live in the past.
Here's a week-to-week blog recording my progress on my thesis.