Hey, you guys! What’s going on? TELL ME STUFF! How’s that thing you did? Is that a new bag? When are we getting lunch?
I have a blog-finishing block. (Life, art. Holler.) I have all these PARAGRAPHS I’ve written you, trusty reader(s), but they don’t go anywhere. They’re not adding up to a cohesive whole. (No, seriously, life, I should set you up with art. You’d get on.)
So… screw theme. Screw narrative cohesion. Here’s some stuff about nothing, apropos of nothing else.
Does anyone remember the late 80s/early 90s Peter Pan series where Wendy could fly too and she and Peter had adventures bouncing on clouds and foiling Hook’s diabolical schemes? I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately and I don’t know why (yes I do: JD McCoy). I was OBSESSED with that show.
My brother and I used to go to an after school programme in our school hall, where I spent my afternoons perched in front of a flickering TV on a lumpy old bed out behind the stage, mushy white-bread sandwich in one hand and syrupy red cordial clutched in the other, YEARNING.
I YEARNED, you guys.
I thought about that show when it wasn’t on. I dreamed about it. I jumped off stairs and roofs and trees, trying to WILL myself into flying. I had adventures with Peter in my head, hiding in the bushes alone at lunch or tucked up in bed at night. I loved it with a passion unrivalled by anything but doing jumps on my rollerblades and pairing bike shorts with slouch socks. I wanted to LIVE INSIDE IT, and I was completely, outrageously unwilling to accept that I couldn’t.
It wasn’t enough just to hang out for a half hour every afternoon: I wanted to know what Peter was doing after dinner. What would happen if the crocodile learned to fly too. What Wendy would find if she snuck aboard Hook’s ship. I don’t think I ever wrote our adventures down, but that’s when this all started, y’all.
I think I was kind of a weird kid. I had the usual quantity of friends and I loved gymnastics and tree-climbing and neon anything, but I spent most of my time inside my own head, hanging out in other, better worlds I’d rather have lived in.
Some of which I made up. And many of which were heavily based on Toy Soldiers, which I can’t explain to you but you get anyway, right?
But mostly, I just wanted to take out some terrorists.
The Sound of Music and Batman mash-ups also featured heavily, although I don’t remember the exact logistics. Also: unicorns. LOTS of unicorns.
I was talking to my brother yesterday and I asked him what he remembers me being like as a kid, and he said: BORING. But he said it like this:
I’M KATIE, I’M READING A BOOK. I’M READING A BOOK AT THE POOL. I’M READING A BOOK AT SCHOOL. I’M READING A BOOK WHILE MY FRIENDS ARE OVER. I’M READING A BOOK WHILE ALREADY READING A BOOK. LOOK AT MY BOOK, GIVE THIS BOOK A LOOK. I’M READING A BOOK.
I used to go to the library with several empty backpacks, so I think he may have a point. I harbour a sneaking suspicion I was only semi-popular because I went to a small school and didn’t eat mud or wet my pants.
(I did eat mud. Much like trying to fly by jumping off stuff, I was pretty convinced that if I SAID a mud pie was strawberry and chocolate, it should taste that way. The fact that it didn’t (and I couldn’t, vis-à-vis flight) only meant I wasn’t trying hard enough. But I was sensible enough to know that I should keep that stuff to myself — at least until it worked. And then, OH, how I was planning to laugh.)
(Wait, I think I still believe this.)
So, thanks, Pete, for introducing me to my imagination, which then swallowed most of my childhood in unproductive make-believe.
Also, your tights were kind of hot. Not Aladdin hot, but I would have hit that.
Let’s not even touch the live-action Peter Pan movie with Jeremy Sumpter, since it came out when I was 20 and still left me with this ridiculous and abiding (and kind of maternal, but don’t think too hard about that) affection for J.Sump that persists to this day. JD McCoy is my favourite Panther.
FULL CIRCLE. Nailed it! AND SCENE.