I dont know when it started, but as young as I can remember remembering anything I remember building this story. Before I could write, I wrote it in my head, and before I could articulate any nuances or reflective meaning, I constructed the narrative in pictures and images. In the woods and in plastic play structures, in abandoned buildings and parks and streams this tale took shape. the characters, the actions, the trials, the injustices grew organically as I came to know my protagonists. this boy. this girl. what they had to teach eachother.
I tried to make a film out of this tale in my early twenties. or what I remembered of it. but the thing was, it ended differently every time because there is always something new to learn.
so there is this boy and this girl
there is this kingdom. yes. a kingdom. it's a woody overgrown kingdom. no, it's an urban nightmare. this kingdom. overgrown and badly misused. but it's been worse. who knows. maybe this is irrelevant. the landscape of my current nightmakres. all one needs ot know is that this kingdom has decended to something bordering on feudalism. but it's alright. few want for much and even fewer are apt to take their wants to the queen, who is young, and has been alone since her parents were killed, years ago, by a common theif, a thug, while out and about on their business. just like batman. see? So there she has sat, alone and sad and beautiful, in a crumbling castle, wandering the hillsides, learning the topography of her kingdom as few do. She's become more a figure head than a ruler. Indeed her power lies in her preciousness. In the ability to inspire a compelling desire in others to protect her and all she represents. For they loved her parents and now they love her by proxy. For they own her along with the land and they know that if she hurts, the kingdom hurts. She inspires compassion. She inspires strength through compassion. This is how she rules. Alone.
and, ofcourse, as moving as this is, it isn't anything to do with her. this young girl, who is a person and not a figurehead. who is passing from adolescence to adulthood without benefit or peer or confidant. who has trained to learn and fight and is well skilled in all arts except those she'll need when she values the single preciousness of another. who is learning to love the land more than any man, woman, or child. who's only real family is a whole entire kingdom, held at arms length. And ofcourse she grows up strong and beautiful and sad alone. We know this character. We all do, she lives in our psyche like any archetype.
and then there is this boy, who's not so much a boy as a young man, he's a healer. a doctor. he's passing through. he's traveling through. there is work to be done. people are ill. they always are. there is always work and he always does it well. and he has been building his medicine bag since even greener stages of youth and it is everything to him because it represents what he will become. a great doctor. a great healer. he loves the tools of his trade as any objects become the fetishistic symbols of one's own power. and he loves them more because they are his.
and so when he loses his medicine bag to a common theif, a thug, while out and about on his business, when is mugged, simply and brutally, it is all that much more frustrating and disempowering. when he loses this bag he has no choice but to ask the kingdom for help. he has no choice but to go to the only person in the kingdom who knows the backwoods like no other, who watches the kingdom grow and change. at an arms length. from a distance. to go to someone who has barely learned to help herself, but has a nation at her back. hoping she'll prove worthy of the protection she has inspired since youth.
this is how the story begins.
where does it go, well hell, thats always the fun part
and does the boy get the girl?
well, sure, thats the question most ask first
is this a romance? is that what this is
and ofcourse, this is a romance. all fairytales are romances. by nature they rely on one's romantic impulse towards justice and beauty and love and fruition.
but is it, you know, a ROMANCE. Do they fuck? Do they fall in love? Do they fall into the sweet embrace reserved for those meant for eachother. Do they look into eachothers eyes and finally understand what small deeds they were built for.
Well, I'll tell you, sometimes yes, sometimes no.
In the movie they do, in the book they dont?
At 14 they did, and, already, at 16 they didn't
now, sometimes, at 32, they do, again
but thats not the point, man
thats not the climax
whether, in the end, they decide to stay, or to go, whether they decide to kiss or to kick eachothers well worn asses, whether they fuck or fumble, this story has lived on in my head with a far more moving bond. with greater things to learn
so, there, and before i share the rest of the story, you might as well know now. the boy gets the girl. the girl gets the boy. in some fashion. if thats what you are here for, then you've gotten what you've come for.
if not, hold tight kittycat, because I might have a little allegorical journey to take you on. you might learn something