JD is an addict.
That means being addicted to a lot of things. He’s addicted to EBAY (more on that next week). But he’s also a drug addict who needs help, and that drug is fantasy.
I’m a drug addict who needs help. I have a new drug. It’s a really, really powerful drug. It’s the same drug I indulged in when I was four. Four all the way to eighteen. It’s a drug called ‘dramatic fantasy’. I kind of play music, and let myself get carried away with it. It’s music to my ears.
It’s the soundtrack of my dreams.
The word ‘fantasy’ has these adult connotations I want to dismiss straight away. I was not a pervert at four, sir or madam. I was not.
I only got into wearing suspenders and a bra as a teenager, after listening to that lumberjack song by Monty Python. I’m over that now, though. I wear power suits. (Maybe I’m still a drug addict who needs help… I’m now addicted to suiting up?)
No, what I’m addicted to is fantasy of a world I have under my control. A lot of losers like me, physically weaker than others of their gender, turn to a world of their own. A realm they can control. Power is addictive, if you’ve ever had it. I’ve tasted it. I’ve liked it. Surprise, surprise, being a drug addict. But felt weighed heavily by it.
In my own world, though, even the salty taste of tears is perfect.
I lost sight of my fantasy world, ironically, in active drug addiction. It all became about the actual world around me. That person in the office who was after me. Out to get me. Onto me.
I couldn’t give a fudge now. I have issues at work, and politics to deal with, as any place, but I’m able to unshoulder that burden the moment I get into my car and drive home. (You carry so much when you’re on drugs, it’s astounding – and for me, I was Atlas, but now I shrug.)
I want to tell you about my latest fantasy. I’m so, so addicted to it. Like a drug. (Surprise, since I was [still am?] a drug addict who needs help.)
It’s about… well… you’ll see.
I magically (don’t ask, I won’t tell) obtain a lot of money. I use it to buy a Hollywood film studio. And also to invest in a personal trainer and lots of creatine, and sh!t. I’m buffed, motherbuffers, like Arnie. And I produce a movie. A special movie. That obviously wins tons of gold-painted statues. It’s not what I care about in the fantasy. It’s what I communicate.
I’m addicted to sharing my experience of something really significant in my life. No, not drugs.
A being who saved me. No, he didn’t have a beard, and no he didn’t sandal his way over water.
The movie starts with me (now buffed up) in a very 18th Century log cabin, writing – seeing as I’m a writer. But, as the opening credits appear on screen, I’m playing with a little, supple white cat, body like a Siamese, all lean. He’s these piercing blue eyes. This cat loves getting in the way of my typewriter (did they have those in the 18th Century? Dunno. It’s fantasy.). We bump noses.
He wakes me up on my 18th Century bed, kneading like he’s with his mother on my 18th Century pillow. Bites my nose, gently, little git. Licks my face, as I groan, “Basil! Naughty Sh!t!”. Karl Urban’s name appears on screen. Obviously that’s who we hire as leading actor. I mean, c’mon, how great was he in Judge Dredd? The honest version, not that grud with Stallone instead. I love Urban. He and me can co-star anytime, hence his role in this fantasy movie of mine.
Jessica Chastain appears next. The gorgeous red-head who flames all ginger stereotypes to cinder is one of my favourite actresses. Phenomenal in her craft, she plays a woman who believes her husband is lost. Taken in smoke, sword, and cannon on the battlefield.
My fantasy movie is 18th Century, as said. It’s fully of flintlock pistol, front-loading rifle, and artillery fire.
In the first act, Karl Urban’s character is one of the only soldiers left alive on a devastated land. Compatriots and enemy soldiers lie dead alike, and a lone figure (me!!) in his foe’s uniform colours approaches him.
As the figure pulls a sabre from scabbard, amidst the mist of smoky hazy, our Karl pulls a letter written by his wife, to read one last time.
I pick it up, after he drops it as he shuttles backwards on the ground. Read it.
Instead of blade in his chest, I offer my hand.
It’s one of those moments in an epic movie where the orchestral sound score reaches a crescendo (all instruments harmonise) to hook your heart.
Me and Karl, we go on a journey back to his woman. I want to take him back to her, help him find safe passage. At first, he doesn’t understand. But he’s grateful, and we slowly bond.
(This is also important. I am such a fan of the man, and can just fantasise about the awesome Facebook posts I can make. People might be like, who dat? Because not everyone knows Karl Urban. But I do. And I salute you, Karl Urban. You and your chiselled jaw. My next fantasy will involve the guy who plays Thor. But I’ll never forget you.)
We have many misadventures along the way… near deaths involving close-contact fights. Front-loading rifles bloom with smoke, and are hastily reloaded as the enemy attempts to swarm over boulders in the forest, or on sail ships, in forts made of timber wood. Swords and tomahawks to provide exciting close combat thrills.
We pass through small towns under siege from the opposing army (to which I’m now a traitor, see?).
We move on, and the audience can follow the journey through a computer 3D parchment map, that appears every so often.
Fiddles, flutes, lutes. They all play, the music of the 18th Century.
All the while Jessica Chastain pleads off suitors eager for her hand, because “none survived the battlefield that day.” She wants time to mourn. But like love lost, she yearns to turn back clock, have him back in her arms, have him by her hearth, her fire, a comfort to each other, in the frost.
The ground is cold, the air icy, except when filled with the heat of gun fire.
Eventually, we, Karl Urban and me, are at a fort guarding the last city before the opposing army (that I was once part of, are you paying ANY attention!?). A colonel hunting us as deserters (dramatic tension / apparent villain) ends up lending his troops to our command as we seek to protect this last stronghold from harm.
Eve of the final battle, in a night crisp in cold, a moon that shines bright. Karl, my Facebook buddy, asks me, “So, why? Why did you do it? All this? You’ve traversed along dangerous roads with me, fought at my side against many an enemy. To bring me to my wife, my love? You read her letter. We are friends, you and I. But how did this come to pass?”
And I reply: “Because, well, of a cat.”
“My boy. My special boy.”
We related. Over a letter Jessica Chastain wrote to Karl Urban. It kept me from killing Judge Dredd on the battlefield that day.
He smiles. “You’ll have to explain this more if we survive.”
And the battle comes the next day.
Smoke from cannon fire. Muskets and rifles blast the air. We try to hold the line, as those around us fall.
I puff (poof!) the blood of an enemy officer’s head with my rifle shot, as I throw it to a youth who catches it to reload. I shout, “Next one, boy!” as a charged gun is tossed my way. Karl Urban fires his, so do the other minor characters.
It’s all very tense, and to add drama, we have the first snows of the film fall. Blood against snowy ground is kind of beautiful, cinematically speaking.
We charge! Hand-to-hand combat; rifle blasts; pistol fires; sword strokes; tomahawk hurls.
As it seems we’ve come to our last… enemies coming from all sides…
Soldiers of our regiment ensnare them. In a flanking tactic. All across the snowy battlefield, the enemy throw down their weapons and raise their hands.
White. Like my cat, from the beginning, from the title credits of the movie…
We pass on, now that the battle is won.
We journey to his home, in that small town he comes from. Dramatically (!!!) as we approach their house, she opens the door, mind on some business or other. Looks up surprised. Smile blazing her face, and his lights up too.
Their embrace captures another music crescendo. You know how it is with these epic movie film scores. And yes, you’ll be able to add it to your playlist on Spotify.
Next scene, they’re lying in bed, under furs, staring at each other, so happy. Then Jess says, “We must see to our guest.”
“He can wait, my love.”
She happily sighs, and responds, “He brought you back to me.”
They tread down the wooden stairs, to the couch laid out with a blanket.
But it’s empty. It was never used.
Perplexed, Jess sees a parchment letter on their table. She reads it.
“Thank you” is all it says.
Next, we cut to one of those poetically powerful final music scores. You know. Starts off softly, slowly builds. (Until crescendo.)
I’m in a culturally different town, from what we’ve seen.
I now have a beard.
I walk past widows, and orphans, and people eager to hear the latest news.
I walk on and on.
I walk down a path, as Spring starts to set in, and birds on trees are seen alighting.
I walk past my cabin, glancing at it, as I walk. We briefly see the interior we saw during the credits at the beginning. It’s all amber lighting.
I walk down a slope, where the trees are heavy, and walk until I come to a small tombstone.
I kneel before it, and I start welling up.
My cheeks are wet, unburdened by grief.
As I stare at it, I say, “I miss you, boy,”
It reads, “BASIL”.
My fantasy that I’m addicted to is a tribute to my dead cat.
4 January 2016.
I’ll never get over him.
Cut to credits.