Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Teenage Ninja Brushes With Killer Whale

Patterns are emerging. 

At one dream a day, the patterns in these dreams might not be so evident. But we also have a backlog of dreams. I can tell you: Your subconscious minds really like houses and roads and puppies, bicycles and blankets and bathrooms. Several recent submissions are about the transition from teenage angst to adult anxiety, about possession by and exorcism of malevolent spirits, about the multifaceted nuances found in Japanese culture, and about Delphinidae—orcas, dolphins, pilot whales, etc. This subject of marine mammals seems extremely pressing. Why? Let's find out.

Today's delphine dream is from Isaac in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We'll have two (yes, two) more such dreams tomorrow. But for now, Issac's contribution to the 31 Dreamers:
I wake up in a room filled with lotuses and ankle-high water.
This room turns out to be my room but bent out of shape, longer and taller.
I get up, my pajamas being soaked, and open my door.
The water floods out into my hallway as I turn and go into the bathroom.
I look at myself in the mirror.
It turns out I'm Naruto from an anime show that I have never watched in my life.
I see that the faucet is running and the sink overflowing onto the floor.
I laugh.
I am then transported through the dream world into an airport bathroom.
It's totally grey.
The walls, floor, light bulbs—everything has been painted over in a boring grey.
I pick up a toothbrush . . .
. . . who happens to be Shamu the killer whale.
I put toothpaste on Shamu.
I look in the mirror and I'm still Naruto.
I brush my teeth with Shamu.
I wake up.

In typical playground-conversation-at-recess-time fashion, I'll ask our readers: In a fight between Naruto the hot-tempered adolescent anime ninja, and Shamu the eight-ton killer whale, who do you think would win?

One kid immediately shouts, "Naruto! He's a super-ninja with the power of a nine-tailed demon fox! He can shadow-clone himself and shoot energy balls and summon giant toads!"

Then another kid says, "Yeah but if the fight were in the ocean Shamu would win. He'd just swallow Naruto whole. Definitely Shamu."

A third kid pipes up, "Yeah but Naruto can use his powers to make a whirlpool! Even in the ocean he'd kick Shamu's ass!" And the kids bicker a bit. bringing up every argument from, "Well Naruto's just a cartoon," to "Well Shamu is just a marketing scheme for Sea World," until finally the most media-savvy of the bunch chucks in her two cents worth of wisdom:

"None of that really matters. What really counts is which one rules it in cyberspace."

The kids run to the school library to Google™ the two contenders and look at the number of matching searches. The score:

Shamu: 881,000 entries. 
Not bad for a whale.

Naruto: 109,000,000
That's right—one-hundred-an-nine million G-hits. 
More than 120 times that of Shamu.

No contest.

Isaac, your dream shows that you are facing some growth, change, and also fear—mostly a fear of being bored. You're in your room, which is an extension of yourself, wracked and disfigured by growing pains. It's a homey room with all that foliage, but the slowly rising flood waters are telling you that maybe it's time to move out. Time for a change of scenery. But there is some fear in that water. Your hallway gives you passage into a place of contemplation: the bathroom. In that contemplation is the source of your fear, running nonchalantly like water from a tap but flowing past your comfort zone. And you are not quite yourself. You think all this is funny? Or are you laughing because you're a little uneasy?

Your contemplation carries you to a future place: another bathroom, beyond which are all the different directions you can go in life—airlines which await your patronage, ready to take you anywhere you want to go. But for now, in the future before your flight, you stand soggy-ankled in that boring grey bathroom. You have to go through this tedium and all the rituals that come with it before you get to even figure out which direction you're headed in.

What else Isaac? Oh yeah—you're Naruto, blond-haired, blue-eyed, Japanese animation superstar whom you've never actually seen in action. Does that kid ever smile? The only times you can find him not looking totally pissed off is when he's sucking face with some anime babe, and even then he doesn't seem quite satisfied. There's a fury in this character and you can see it in his big ol' manga-fied peepers looking back at you from the mirror. That reflection of yourself is ready to explode. But you don't want that Isaac. So you try to keep it together and do your duty in this boring-ass bathroom. And that duty? To brush your pearly anime teeth. But the instrument that you reach for has its own teeth. Worse than that, its breath stinks like raw seal meat. But you just maintain your cool and do your thing, and that thing is to squeeze minty gel on the orca and stick it in your mouth, blocking out the flavor of rotting fish.

Isaac, when I put myself into your pajamas I want to laugh too. I also want to lighten up, wipe that serious expression off my face and relax. But I'm not in your pajamas, Isaac, you are. Are you in a position where you can walk down the hall, turn off the faucet, find a mop and clean up this mess that you're in? Or is the best thing you can do to keep moving through life in a slightly soggy state and keep putting Colgate on a killer whale? 

While you think about this question, why not hop on the Blue Line and go spend an afternoon at the New England Aquarium? Walk up that spiraling ramp, stopping to look at all the little tanks along the way. When you reach the top, stick your hands into the water where you can pet the starfish and the horseshoe crabs. Look into the eyes of the fishes and listen to what they have to say to you. Spend some time waddling with the penguins and get a seat for the dolphin show. Maybe there will be a killer whale there, if not the dolphins will do. Inhale deeply—can you smell their breath? Get back on the subway and on the way home, stop somewhere and pick up the book of the daythe manga version of Naruto. When you read it in your room late at night, compare Naruto's path through life with that of a marine mammal. Then, find your own.

15 comments:

Isaac said...

im such a fucking g

Morgão Papelão said...

If "g" stands for "goofball" then sure.

Morgão Papelão said...

PS: Your dream is the most popular one on the blog. Especially with Indonesians, Filipinos, and Italians.

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