The concept was originally envisioned by Waters in 1977 and refined in the early 1980s. In its completed form, it rotates around a man’s scattered thoughts during his midlife crisis. These are explored on a dream journey during which he takes a road trip through California, commits adultery with a hitchhiker he picks up along the way, attempts to reconcile with his wife by moving to the wilderness, and finally ends up alone but with greater insight into a common human compassion. Along the way he also faces other fears and paranoia. The entire story is framed in real time as a fitful dream taking place in the early morning hours of 4:30:18 am to 5:12 am on an unspecified day. At the end of the dream, the man wakes up lonely and contrite and turns to his real wife for comfort, presumably having processed his crisis.