Doors lead in, doors lead out, doors no bigger than a little girls pout.
The last real conversation I had with Erin before all of this started was about Alice in Wonderland. Specifically, it was about Mabel. I’m not sure how many of you have read Alice in Wonderland, but Mabel is a friend of Alice’s from school whom she mentions early on. Here is the passage:
`I’m sure I’m not Ada,’ she said, `for her hair goes in such long ringlets, and mine doesn’t go in ringlets at all; and I’m sure I can’t be Mabel, for I know all sorts of things, and she, oh! she knows such a very little! Besides, SHE’S she, and I’m I, and–oh dear, how puzzling it all is! I’ll try if I know all the things I used to know. Let me see: four times five is twelve, and four times six is thirteen, and four times seven is–oh dear! I shall never get to twenty at that rate! However, the Multiplication Table doesn’t signify: let’s try Geography. London is the capital of Paris, and Paris is the capital of Rome, and Rome–no, THAT’S all wrong, I’m certain! I must have been changed for Mabel! I’ll try and say “How doth the little– “’ and she crossed her hands on her lap as if she were saying lessons, and began to repeat it, but her voice sounded hoarse and strange, and the words did not come the same as they used to do:–
`How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!
`How cheerfully he seems to grin,
How neatly spread his claws,
And welcome little fishes in
With gently smiling jaws!’
`I’m sure those are not the right words,’ said poor Alice, and her eyes filled with tears again as she went on, `I must be Mabel after all, and I shall have to go and live in that poky little house, and have next to no toys to play with, and oh! ever so many lessons to learn! No, I’ve made up my mind about it; if I’m Mabel, I’ll stay down here! It’ll be no use their putting their heads down and saying “Come up again, dear!” I shall only look up and say “Who am I then? Tell me that first, and then, if I like being that person, I’ll come up: if not, I’ll stay down here till I’m somebody else”–but, oh dear!’ cried Alice, with a sudden burst of tears, `I do wish they WOULD put their heads down! I am so VERY tired of being all alone here!’
In this section, Alice is beginning to doubt who she is. She wonders if she is, in fact, someone other than herself specifically… not just a different person in general. In the end, she decides that she must be Mabel, a less intelligent friend of hers. Now, there are other sections I could quote you, about how Alice farther suggests that she might be more than one person… such as a part where she remembers trying to box her own ears for cheating against herself in a game of croquet, but this first quote is the most important. In particular, pay attention to the line: ““I’ve made up my mind about it; if I’m Mabel, I’ll stay down” here!“. It has always been my thought that in the two person dichotomy of Alice, there is a split between the real world personality of Alice, and the wonderland personality of Mabel. Mabel is, in fact, the personality that stays, and not only interacts, but eventually controls wonderland. She is beyond control of even the Queen, and later, when she goes through the looking glass, not even the jabberwocky can pose a threat to her. Mabel is the power in Alice, a power which exists and resides permenantly within the fantasy. It is her real strength, despite its containment within her psyche. It is an inner strength, a true inner strength personified, and while it is less intelligent than herself, it has a common sense that overwhelms the logical, the mundane, and see’s past the predictability of a simple nursery rhyme. Mabel saw beyond all of it to a super-normal place where the innermost childish logic rang true, her desires became powerful potions… spells even, and the magic of her dreams was completely reality. Mabel’s power was in her imagination, but for her it was more than that. It was truth… mystical truth.
One day, I’d love to put all of this into a story… a book perhaps, or just a short fiction. I dunno… it’s one of those few original ideas I have that no one else seems to have noticed yet. Weird I guess. I never gave it a whole lot of thought before, beyond the basics. I guess the timing of it with Erin made it pop out at me. So… yeah. It’s halfway a commentary on how I feel these days, but I thought it might be a good story for this journal too.