The Frozen Isle
symphonic wind 7283
Shhhhh! You’ve gotta keep quiet about this, you hear? It’s very – no, not “very,” it is absolutely most imperative that you not say anything about this. They’ll feel bad, you know?
Okay, good. With that said and done, I’ll give a short little introduction here. I’m the forgotten sort of character – feh, forgotten, forgettable, same idea; no one gives a second thought to the act anyway (by definition, you’d probably add). Every sort of show or story has one of these, somebody left on the frozen isle because both the author and the reader have forgotten about her existence; somebody killed to advance the plot and perhaps not even given a name just to cache away her murder as if it simply didn’t matter. We all know it’s like that – some murders matter, some don’t, and the difference is that there’s dramatic music when the crucial murders and a stupid little manila folder when the murder doesn’t matter.
Haha, I don’t expect you to really care about me, since I’m not real anyway. Just like any other character, I’m just a mesh of traits that the author has somehow scooped out of his neighbors or his friends or his pets or maybe his own little heart, the most precious of organs, selon the words on the page. Really, I’m not kidding. Writing is quite a selfish thing when you look at it in its entirety. It’s like yelling out loud, “This is what I think and it’s art so I don’t give a damn if you don’t like it and if you don’t you just plain suck.” Egotistical, and ridiculous to boot. And what’s most disturbing about it is the fact that the author can control everything. If he (and I use “he” simply because the author is a he; even though when I talk about myself, I ought to refer to myself as “she,” as I am a she) should want this turn into a crummy romance right now, he could do it. I wouldn’t be able to raise a finger against it (like I’d want to, anyway). And there you go again. Did I really add that parenthetical phrase? And why should you know what it said? It was my thought! My thought! I could just leave it out if I wanted to (but I cannot since he told me to blurt it out for the world to see!).
So all I’m trying to say is that authors have this grand tendency to throw in a few people for the scenery of it all. There are six billion people in the world and his story ought to have at least a dozen or so of them, even if only one is going to receive attention as if he or she were king or queen of the world. That is not to say that there are not sympathetic authors – the sort that just _has_ to make every one of his or her characters “realistic” and “likable.” Ah, so let’s do that for a moment, shall we?
[When I was six, I ran away from home. Yes, I ran away, but I don’t know how. Of course, I returned later on – a few minutes later – haha! but yes, that’s how it is, isn’t it? We just have to dip our feet into the cold water to determine that it truly is cold.]
Did you see that? I’ve been “characterized!” Now, come on you silly people, analyze it! Why did I run away from home? Was it the right thing to do? What was my name?
And with drama, here it is. [The waters are slightly gleaming, the moonlight lapping up the lake to create those little ripples that everyone takes for granted. I look at the waters, pondering my existence. When people encounter me, they always find it most important to know my name, but truly, why would that make a difference? If I were not Eve, would they treat me differently?]
Oh, my! So that’s my name, is it? So why? Why did he choose “Eve” and not “Mary” or “Jocelyn” or “Mrs. Brown”?
But in the end, do you really care? Do you care that Eve ran away from her home at the age of six and returned? And more importantly, will you even remember her a few years from now as you’d remember the faces of your classmates or of Santa Claus or of the cute little puppy your neighbor Dave raised all by himself? I doubt it. It’s up to the readers to keep a character alive, and there are always those characters who are simply too boring to keep alive.
You’ve got the fan club: Fanfiction authors that will whip up a little ditty, perhaps crappy, perhaps a masterpiece, but it doesn’t really matter what quality they write with; what matters is that they wrote it. They actually cared. But you go and look at the mounds – heaps the size of the New York landfill – of fanwritings and you discover that there’s something fishy going on. The main characters receive most of the attention, and those with quirks; many are turned into puppets, but they are still there. Absent are the average characters, the “flat” or “stock” characters as the teachers put it. What happens to them? Or what happens to me, Eve, the poorly characterized main character of this most useless story that completely lacks plot?
Now you see, we have quite a problem. What happens to Bob who makes a one second cameo in some high-falutin story? Is he worth less because he only appears for one second? Consider for a moment what a story does, though. It takes a peek at an entirely new world, one populated with people, flora, fauna, just like the one you probably live in (I say probably because maybe you’re a character, too, and you happen to live on Mars because the author is quite interested in science fiction). So Bob is a person as much as Lauren, the main character. Bob, no matter what he may be, is ignored by the general populace because he just doesn’t seem real. But extend that line of reasoning to the real world. How many people do you really know? I’d venture to say you probably have ten or so main friends who you hang out with, a half thousand or so that you’d recognize (at least with their name), and maybe a hundred celebrities you’ve seen a lot. I may be way off; my knowledge cannot surpass that of my author, so he can apologize for that matter. But back to the topic, just because you don’t know those millions of people doesn’t mean they are worth less, and you acknowledge that fact. You empathize with them when they are hurt, even when you don’t know who they are. Yet if Bob had a heart attack, you’d never know and you’d never care. He was created, anyway, so what’s the big deal?
Maybe I’m just lonely here, being one of the forgotten. I used to like to write, myself – I had this small journal in which I kept my most secret of stories (and yes, I did write a few far-fetched romances as I pined away in anguish as my crush dated another girl). I didn’t share that journal with anyone else because it was for me. I wrote for myself; it was the only way I could convince myself that I was not trying to impress the world with my opinions on everything. My journal was dotted with hundreds of characters that came about, talked a bit, walked around, kissed, jumped off cliffs, rode airlines that were doomed to crash – you know, the usual fare. Well, last year, I decided to burn that journal. Yes, I burned it, along with all the characters within it. I don’t even remember half of them. The other half could be resurrected, I suppose, but one character who I particularly liked falls into the forgotten category.
Yeah, I liked him. I probably even loved him. I probably still do. But he’s dead – he was cremated with the pages of that journal, and I don’t even remember his name. I’ll tell you about him, though. He was a tall boy whose coarse blond hair grew so fast he’d have a beard by the end of the day after having shaved in the morning. He had a charming smile, one that always made you lower your head as you blushed madly – and this even applied to the guys, who would blush in embarrassment that they couldn’t have such a charming smile as well. The main character of the book was named Katherine, but she was supposed to be me. Katherine fell in love with that boy and they went out on these wonderful dates. Unfortunately, Katherine’s best friend, Candy, also fell in love with the boy, and that was in essence the gist of the whole thing.
He’s fake, you say, and Eve is being an idiot for pretending that she’s in love with a fake person. But come on, we’ve all done it before. We’ve read something or seen something on TV and discovered a character who we just couldn’t resist. It’s actually really cute when a little boy keeps wanting to see this adorable girl character whose personality was made up out of the blue or out of the author’s heart, the most important of organs. But yes, what if it were the other way around? What if the character had a crush on someone over in your place? I think, maybe, I’m in love with you. I don’t really care if you’re a boy or a girl. I’m not going to let the author define my sexuality. That’s my problem and mine alone. I’m Eve and I’m my own person, even though he may think he can control me.
I admit it now: I love you. Forget about that boy; he was just a fantasy. I’m interested in you. You’re a real person, aren’t you? I think it’d be nice to get to know each other. I’m sick and tired of just sitting around in my undefined world, drinking my undefined beverage, combing my hair whose color I still don’t know. I think maybe when we chat a bit, you’ll tell me more about myself, and I can sort it all out. I want to have feelings of my own. I want to know what love really means. I could say “I love this” or “I love that” a thousand times over in this and not ever understand what I was saying.
Ahaha! So what exactly is going on here? Am I writing this? This is quite an egocentric piece, isn’t it, and it sucks quite a bit, too. But no, I’m not writing this. I’m saying this. I’m thinking this. I’m not writing it. No one is. I’ve completely fooled the author, so ha! He’s really not thinking much right now. Shhhhhh, we’ve got this time to ourselves now.
So tell me, my friend, who am I?