This project actually originated on Protagonize, when I attempted to derive a story-narrative out of the music video, 'Bad Romance' by Lady GaGa. Somewhere between then and now, my mind was hijacked by a supernatural force. Now, four months later, I wake up to the realization that I've spent countless hours devoted to a Lady GaGa fan fiction. And... that's that. Otherwise, I'm quite excited about the project. More information can be found here tsip.org/gaga.html I'll be releasing instal
1992 (part 1 of 2)
She was a sprightly and friendly little girl with stringy brown hair and a tireless smile, blessed with a caring father and mother and a baby sister on the way. She loved to sing and to dance and to watch others do the same. On television she would watch them. She loved television. She loved it for the same reason all children love television, for its new worlds, wonderful worlds where anything might happen.
Like most children, she especially liked cartoons, and like most young girls, she became tremendously excited to learn that a new cartoon movie called Beauty and the Beast would soon be playing at the theater.
“It’s supposed to be really, really romantic,” promised her best friend, Chloe. “Like, probably, the most romantic movie ever.”
Like Chloe and most other girls, this sprightly and friendly little girl was an avid fan of romance, because romance was something beautiful and grown-up, like lipstick, and best of all, it was something all the boys in second grade were too immature to understand.
And so, one Saturday afternoon, her father gathered her and her mother and announced that they were going to the movies, Ronnie’s Megaplex, with the bigger screens and stadium seating. He tried to joke by saying they were going to see Lethal Weapon, but she couldn’t be fooled, this little girl with the stringy brown hair. She knew what movie they were really going to see. And though she was very young, she was old enough to know that her mommy and daddy would probably not choose to go to see Beauty and the Beast if they were going to the theater by themselves, but because they knew how badly she wanted to see it, they would take her and go see it too. Knowing this made her feel very special.
She loved her parents very much, and because she loved them, she, like many children, worried. This is why, while sitting in the backseat on the way to see Beauty and the Beast, the most romantic movie ever, this sprightly little girl became, at once, sad. It is why she undid her seatbelt, rose from her seat in back and reached her small hand out onto her father’s large shoulder and spoke in a tiny voice: “Daddy, You’re never going to die… are you?”
Her daddy had jumped some when he felt her hand. He didn’t turn to face her because he had to drive. “Honey, sit down and buckle up ok, we’ll talk later,” he said.
“Stefani!” Her mother was mad. “Stefani, get back in your seat this instant, young lady!”
The little girl didn’t move. “No,” she said. “Not until you promise.” She stepped sidelong across the middle of the floorboard and reached her other tiny hand to the top of her mother’s shoulder. “Both of you, promise to never die, please.” A tear ran down the little girl’s cheek.
He was still silently deliberating with himself thirty minutes into the animated feature. Was his answer the right one for a small child, especially a very sensitive little girl like his daughter? Maybe he should have focused on painting a vivid and soothing picture of some afterlife, a guarantee they’d always be together. Why didn’t he just tell her not to worry about it, that it wouldn’t happen for a long, long time. Isn’t that what his parents had told him? No, he thought, that wouldn’t have worked on Stefani. But still, there must have been something more hopeful, something better he could have told her, something better than… well, the truth. That everybody dies. It’s a natural part of life and there’s no need to be afraid of it. That’s what you tell a cancer patient, not a healthy 6 year-old girl. He had seen the way his wife had looked at him, shaking her head in subtle disapproval, yet she never intervened with any ideas of her own. It was difficult parenting territory. Maybe there was no real right answer. Maybe the most important thing was just to be genuine, open and honest about what you believe. Just being there for her so she had someone to ask about these things, that had to count for something, he thought. A lot of kids didn’t even have parents to be worried about.
He looked down at his daughter in the seat next to his, her imagination fully captivated by the film’s singing candle and the ensemble of kitchenware putting on a show for the film’s main character, the beauty, the girl who’d made a deal with the beast, sacrificing herself in exchange for her father’s release from the beast’s dungeon. He watched the light on his daughter’s face, reflecting and dancing to the music. She looked at him a moment and smiled before returning to the fantasy world of the film, letting it again take her away, far away, her father hoped, from the worries of the world, back to the place where children belonged.
After the movie reached its sad, romantic conclusion, a teary-eyed Stefani confessed to her mother, whose eyes were also wet and smudged, that she was in dire need of a toilet and had been concealing this need for most of the movie’s latter half.
Stefani tried to keep from squirming as they and many other families trickled slowly out of the theater and into the corridor. They followed the corridor to its end where the ladies room had already beckoned a sizeable line of mothers and squirming daughters. Stefani’s father sighed and told his wife he’d be waiting up front in the lobby for them.
He browsed aimlessly about in the lobby for a while, looking at the colorful and blurby cardboard displays advertising upcoming movies. He was looking, nonplussed, at a display of a chimpanzee holding a bag with a dollar sign, when he noted a conspicuous emptiness in his left-front pocket. His wallet was missing. He sprinted back towards the theater.
Which theater was it, again? Four theaters had been devoted to Beauty and the Beast. The second one on the left, he remembered. The one with the stadium seating.
He walked briskly through the entrance and alongside one of the tall sidewalls that bookended the stadium seating.
About seven or eight rows down from the top. He thought, trying his best to visualize where they had been sitting.
At the end of the sidewall, he stepped off the carpeted ramp and around onto the steps leading upwards.
“Oh, there you are,” a voice said suddenly. The voice was textured with a crisp British accent. It had come from the rear of the theater, at the very highest of rows. It wasn’t a loud voice, but Stefani’s father had no trouble finding its rightful owner, for there was only one other person in the theater. A narrowly shouldered, pole of a figure he was, sitting on the outermost seat of the back row, his lanky, leather-clad legs strangling over the seat in front of him, his white boots pointing to the ceiling with their sharp silver toes. He was a very strange looking fellow. The man had a mane of wild, hair the silky orange color of a tangerine. His face was long and chalky white with dark lizard-like splices for eyes.
Stefani’s father, after seeing the man, concluded immediately that the man must have him mistaken for someone else, just like he had the current date mistaken for Halloween.
Now, where did I leave my wallet? He began scanning the floors of each aisle.
”Hey ’ello?” the orange-haired man said unwinding his legs off the seat in front of him. “I was talking to you, ya know.” He stood up, revealing a shorter height than his lankiness had suggested, a couple inches shy of 6-feet. On the undersides of his eyes were copious amounts of black-eye shadow, the black blended up and over his eyes to a shade of neon blue which reached all the way up to the bottoms of his eyebrows. The color of the eyes themselves looked incongruent with one eye being clearly blue and the other a dark brown with a hint of green.
Stefani’s father gave the man a second look over, then a third, and was hit with a flash of recognition. He forgot all about his wallet and pointed at the man in disbelief. “What do you know!” he said. He couldn’t find the name, but he knew the man was very famous. “You’re that singer, right? singer, actor, right?”
The man walked down a half-flight of steps, meeting Stefani’s father on a flat in the middle of the stairway.
“And weren’t you in that…” Stefani’s father suddenly snapped his finger over his chest. “Yes!” He said loudly, “That movie with all the muppets! My little girl loves that! What’s your name, again?”
“Bowie, Sir David Bowie, and the film your daughter’s fond of is called ‘The Labryinthe,’ a fine piece of fiction, indeed,” he spoke hurriedly.
“Labyrinthe! Yes! Wow, what are you doing here man? My kid’s not going to believe this. Hey, I should go get my wife and little girl….” He paused suddenly. “Wait, did you say you were waiting for me or something?”
“I’m afraid we won’t be able to meet the family this afternoon, Mr. Germanotta,” said Bowie. “Here.” With movements as prim and hurried as his words he removed a black wallet from a pocket in his blue, velvet vest and handed it to Mr. Germanotta. “This is yours.”
Mr. Germanotta was stunned. “You know who I am?” he asked, taking slowly back his wallet. “How?”
Bowie didn’t answer.
“Oh! You must have read my driver’s license. Right?” Germanotta said without conviction. “That was it, right, my license? Why am I getting a strange feeling about all this?”
“I need you to listen to what I’m going to tell you very carefully, Mr. Germanotta.” Bowie began. “We don’t have much time.”
<< You can find 1992, part 2 of 2 on my website, tsip.org, I will post it here soon as well =) >>