I’ve had quite a week since last I wrote. I have done submissions for two different contests (the Zazzle thing, which required a video) and one that was due today, and for which I needed two new columns. I’d forgotten the deadline was today, and since I’d not written anything for it yet, I had to scurry to finish it. I got it in five minutes before the deadline.
I am back home tonight after being in Colorado Springs for the day, so, in all of this, I’ve gotten home, and am exhausted, and, am, I regret to say, again dipping into the Oscar story well.
This one is from 2005, in which three of the five nominated movies were biopics. Because of this, I thought it would be interesting to see what would happen if the famous subjects of the movies met some highly unusual characters. You know, like if Charo met Cervantes. Or, as in today’s story, if Michael Jackson had met J.M. Barrie in “Finding Neverland.” So, without further preamble, it is finally time for…
The year is 1903, and J.M. Barrie is sitting alone in Kensington Gardens, writing in a journal. A strange creature, holding an umbrella, wearing unnecessarily elaborate clothing, and walking as if made of crystal, slowly eases its form onto the bench next to the playwright. The face of the figure has dark, shiny, mirrored spectacle-like lenses in front of its eyes, and two slits for nostrils where its nose ought to be, and a lipless line surrounding a slightly open maw.
The creature has stringy black-colored material, in some ways resembling hair, on the top of its head. A surgical-type mask hangs from the creature’s neck, and white gloves cover its hands.
The creature sits stiffly, with its limbs held closely its body, staring straight ahead, and seems to be nervously trying to pretend the other occupant of the bench is not there. The creature’s eyes dart between the journaling playwright, and straight out into the park, as if their very movement toward the opposite end of the bench might arouse the interest of the creature’s bench mate.
At this moment, a young boy runs directly up to Mr. Barrie. He’s very excited, and asks if he brought with him some more pixie dust, since he wanted to bring his mother to Neverland with them straight away. Mr. Barrie reaches into his pocket, and holds his cupped hand in front of the boy. He tells him to take a small pinch of the unseen dust out of his hand, and take it to his mother immediately.
Carefully, the boy pinches the air above the man’s hand, and with his fingers tightly held together, thanks the man, and walks slowly and with great focus, back the way he came.
At this moment, Mr. Barrie notices the strange creature on the bench next to him. He asks if he is fond of small boys. The creature, in a high-pitched voice, answers “Why, yes. I do. It’s such a pity they all must grow up.” Barrie answers him, “It is indeed. But, in Neverland, boys never have to grow up.”
Then, the creature emitted a noise, which the curious Barrie interpreted as a girlish giggle.
“I want to live in Neverland,” said the creature. “And, invite young boys to share my bed.”
At this, Barrie leaps to his feet, and tells the creature that sort of thing could never happen in Neverland, and such behavior is unacceptable for grown people, much less strange creatures such as whatever sort of freak had just spoken.
The creature looked hurt, and distraught at the playwright’s
words. “I’d never hurt a child. I love them, and I just wish to be close to them and care for them.”
These last words send Barrie to a rage. “Sir or Madam, or whatever manner of creature you are: no matter what hermeneutical lenses you have viewed that sort of behavior through, it is still wildly inappropriate, and I, for one, will not tolerate it, and shall report any such inclination to the authorities!”
* * * * * * * * * * *
I’ve always really liked this story because I felt I’d managed to describe the strangeness of Michael Jackson really well, as seen by someone who lived 150 years ago. Maybe I’m wrong on this, but, maybe not.
hermeneutical: / HERR – men – u – tick – all / interpretive