Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

sigh #2

I am increasingly coming around to the view that I may be too emotional to exist in the world.

I had been watching some mediocre *black slave girl runs away hooks up with kind white man who helps her* thing on TV and I had to stop watching it because the piggy drowned. (The kind white man was travelling by cart and he had his farm animals attached to it, and during a river crossing the rope holding the piggy broke and it got swept over the edge of the waterfall and died).

I felt too distressed to continue watching and had to switch the thing off lest I break down completely.

I have always had the habit of empathising with the minor characters to the point of heartripping.

And I'm still sat here thinking *the poor piggy, it was really cute, and it looked so scared* (ignoring the fact that I'm sure no pigs were actually injured in the making of the film). One of the most horrifying experiences of my childhood was in witnessing a farmer run after a squealing pig brandishing a weapon like something out of Psycho and sometimes I can still hear that pig screaming.

For years afterwards I refused to touch any meat that I knew to be pork. Similarly I have an aversion to lamb since seeing little lambs lying in a heap with thier feet tied up watching thier siblings being eviscerated and suspended from hooks. I was in hysterics. I really could not recover all day and I think I had tried to attack the farmer.

As a child I could not bear to witness any sadness without feeling its tragedy as my own. If someone shouted at a child near me, I started sobbing and I was having hysterics about the rejection of the Ugly Duckling in a televised cartoon before I had even learned to speak. I was an excruciatingly sensitive creature and I really took to heart the unhappiness of others.

My grandmother used to recite me this wrenching poem called Poor Little Harlequin about an abandoned toy. It went something along the lines of- I'm a poor little harlequin, abandoned by the boy I've loved, he has a new toy, he no longer loves me and I cannot bear to live in these conditions.

I don't think she'd ever managed to get beyond the second stanza before I burst into tears. For added effect my grandmother liked to practise an amended version of the poem, which went: I'm a poor little harlequin, Nina no longer needs me, I am unloved and abandoned and I shall take my leave of this cruel place.

Anyway, aside from compounding my various traumas, it left me with a lasting conviction that toys had feelings and I used to have nightmares about my teddies feeling slighted and unloved (and weep and mourn when they come alive at night). To this end (I wish I was, but I kid you not) I took aside my favourite teddy and explained to him that even though he was my favourite in order to not hurt the feelings of others I would need to pay a lot more attention to them, and to please understand. I couldn't go to sleep lest I said goodnight to every toy and spent some time of reassuring it of my affections and its attractiveness and good character, and it was not unusual to find me curled up shievering and blanketless because I had used all my covers to keep the toys tucked in snug and warm. One time coming home I saw a toy bear missing an ear that someone had abandoned next to a bin. In the rain. (very Hemingwayesque).

I was not content with merely rescuing the stuffy and giving it a bath. No. I cuddled it, and wrapped it in blankets, and rocked it and talked to it for hours, the better to enable it to recover from its ordeal. *shakes head at self*

I was a child who took instances of unfairness and rejection very seriously and did my utmost to redress them. (Unless of course I was dishing out the unfairness in form of cunning ploys in order to establish my dictatorship over my cousin and the neighberhood children).

But anyway. Movies. Which is how I got to thinking about these things in the first place.

The first ever movie I remember seeing as a child was ET (and I screamed at the scary cornfield scene, and I cried when ET got separated from his mum, and from the boy, and when we thought he was dying) but largely I remember it with fondness. The second movie was Jaws 3 (in 3-d no less, as though the horror were not enough). I have no idea what could have posessed my mother to take an 8 year old t this feature but even in adult life it traumatises me still. No body of water has ever been the same again.

The third film I remember seeing (a class outing, at the age of nine) was something called *These Wonderful Creatures*. It was all about animals. It was tragic from the start. It made the death of Bambi's mother seem like an afternoon tea-party.

The main character was a luckless wild pig called Giles. The story starts at his birth, when he is born as the thirteenth piglet and therefore straightaway rejected by his pragmatic albeit heartless mother (who has only 12 teats). He is chased away from the family den and forced to go out into the wild and fend for himself.

As though rejection and abandonment from what should be his chief caregiver were not enough, he is cold and hungry, and gets chased by bigger hungry things in the forest, and wonders the world entirely alone and dejected until he runs into a foal, Lana, who befriends him and takes him to meet her parents. They all get along, and hang out, until there is a terrible flood in the forest. Lana and Giles survive, but Lana's mother drowns early and most tragically Lana's father, a magnieficent buck dies because his horns get tangled in the flotsam and debris.

Giles and the orphaned Lana emerge into a sad grey dawn, where Giles meets his abandoner of a mother who now is thrilled to see him and makes noises of joy and affection (since all her other piglets drowned and the hypocritical whore wants him). However, Giles has principles and he rejects her advances and goes off with Lana.

I cried. I cried and cried and cried and could not recover after that film. I didn't care about Giles' strength of character and admirable moral tone. I thought of the poor 12 drowned piglets. I thought of Lana's mother and father, and of Lana's grief at being left alone in the world. I thought of all the helpless drowned forest animals. I thought even of Giles' cruel mother and ached at how harshly she had been punished.

And I cried adn I cried and I cried.

I was so devastated, that people spent ages afterwards trying to calm me down (unfortunately with conflicting stories. One group were basing thier comfort on *none of it was real, those were just mechanical animals, no one died* while the other dished out solace with *all the animals have gone to heaven and they're running around and are happy there now*).

Sigh. I really should try to come up with some happy stories.


Mar. 22nd, 2004 07:47 am (UTC)
"oh don't be silly emily, she's a stuffed animal, for chrissake," and then i reply, shocked, "no she's not! she's petunia, and i love her!"

thank goodness I'm not the only one. I lve the name petunia. such an unusual name for a teddy.


deep sky, firefly

Latest Month

December 2013


Page Summary

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow