Friday, May 4, 2007

The Not So Thin Line Between Fantasy and Revenge

When I was a kid, and for a number of years when I was technically an adult, I read super hero comics. Marvel and DC, XMen, Green Lantern, Thor, Spiderman, Batman, I read them all. There was a corner store near where I lived that had an ample supply of month old comics with half the cover torn off. They sold for about a third of what a new comic cost. Didn't realize until the summer after I graduated from high school and one of my friends got a job tearing covers that they were black market comics.

I also started reading my Dad's Analog magazines and science fiction paperbacks in about the second grade. I read all of the fairy tale, fantasy, and historical fiction I could get my hands on as well. I owned The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. The librarians at the public library gave up trying to keep me out of the adult stacks when I was in the sixth grade and gave me an honorary adult card -- which they weren't supposed to do until a kid was 16 or in high school. I was so proud I almost popped.

All of this fed what was probably an already overactive imagination. After Mom took away my desk lamp for burning a hole in my sheet while trying to read underneath it after my bed time, I would lay in bed at night and travel to distant times and places in my mind, all more interesting than my mundane reality.

For a very long time, I wanted to be Robin Hood, living the free life in Sherwood Forest. When I approached puberty, however, I realized that being Robin Hood would entail kissing Maid Marion. Eww! Gross!!! If I had to kiss anybody (revolting but becoming more intriguing by the month) I would prefer it to be Robin rather than Marion. So I traded in my Robin Hood identity for Maid Marion and became the most swashbuckling lady in the forest. I didn't need Robin to rescue me, I would rescue him.

In my mind, I sailed the oceans in pirate boats and sailed the sea of stars in rocket ships. I fought the bad guys and the evil oppressors of the oppressed with cunning and might. I swung a sharp sword, science officered a tight ship, and tossed baddies to Spidey to cocoon in webbing for the cops.

Reality lurked in the daylight, however. I was mercy marked in gym class because I would get up and try again after landing on my head. I couldn't move objects with my mind, cast a spell or solve quadratic equations (whatever the heck those were) without breaking a sweat. I was just a kid. And now I'm just an ordinary, mundane adult.

But fantasy still thrives within my soul. Inside I right the wrongs as I see fit. I've sent George W. off to the front lines in Iraq many times, with Rummy and Dick at his side. I've cast spells on rapists and kidnappers so that anytime they think about, much less act upon, their wickedness the emotions of their victims are reflected, raw and unedited, into their minds. And when somebody hurts or mutilates a child or an animal or a plant... Well, it differs from time to time, it's not always being stomped by a moose or having their fingers cut off to see what it feels like, sometimes I get much more creative...

But, for heaven's sake, I would never do any of it. Well, maybe the one about sending Bush and staff to Iraq. And the one about cursing rapists with uncontrollable empathy. I'd never send a moose to stomp someone. I just fantasize about it to relieve the anger that sometimes rises in me, so I can behave like a civilized person in real life.

Because that's where my body lives even if my mind is unfettered.

1 comment:

Chelsi said...

Keep up the good work.