I’m writing this in the hopes of capturing my fleeting childhood memories for future reference.
super powers – there’s a reason Superman and to a lesser degree other super heroes are so popular with kids. He is the embodiment of the desire to be big and strong, to be able to easily defeat all who would dare stand before you and to be on the winning side (good always triumphs over evil). Although some kids are into the dark fantasy: siding with the villain. As a kid, I was often in fear for my life. In grade 8, I worried about getting stuffed in a locker. I didn’t get beat up but it was like walking on egg shells: one wrong step and curtains. That was even before all the knives and gun showed up and I was still scared. Starting very early, I hung out with the biggest kid because I was kind small and scrawny. I was content to be a beta-male if it meant that I wouldn’t get beat up completing for the alpha-male position. In a sense, I was in a gang of two. No kid like being told what to do, especially if it goes against his gut feeling. But, lacking super powers, you feel you have no other choice. This can lead to some pretty dumb behaviour, and I was dumb just like every other kid. Isn’t Corporate America (Canada in my case) just another bunch of gangs?
kill the parents – kids rebel against authority. I personally only had this dream once or twice. Others, like those in abusive situations, dream about it constantly. Some, god forbid, actually act on it. You find yourself thinking, if they would only just disappear, all that angst would just disappear along with them. And, I’d be rich by inheriting all that was once there’s. Of course, your parent are just the tip of the iceberg. A lightening rod for all the other authority figures in a young person’s life. And, with wealth comes responsibility (what kid wants that). Furthermore, killing the parent is like slaying the Hydra, every time you cut of its head it grows right back in a more oppressive form. Most kids eventual channel the rage into a health disrespect and find subtler ways to undermine society’s power structure. Personally, I like going out and getting drunk (in a safe and controlled environment, for the love of god please don’t drink and drive, alcohol + car has killed more than one of my friends) every so often just to thumb my nose at those I despise. Puke all over the shag carpet is infinitely preferable to blood.
secret language – kids love privacy. It’s a natural reaction to others having total control over all aspects of there lives. This is one way that a kid can recapture control. I remember Pig Latin. I still sometimes hear kids speaking it and have to grin. My current job is thanks to this particular dream. I work with the Chinese, Japanese and Korean languages on the computer. The mystery of Orient. Beautiful and secret (to Westerns anyway). Programming itself uses secret languages. Languages of power and simplicity. Written with mathematical precision.
Most of us never do grow up. We hold onto our dreams in distorted adult versions. The sad part is that the reality of maturity often obscures the root of our passion. We lose the vision of our dreams in our rush fulfill them. Not this kid: rage, rage against the dieing of the light.