New one. More later.
My new next-door neighbor is a nice-looking gentleman, but I wish he were twenty years younger. He’s in pretty good shape, to be hauling all those boxes and furniture up a hilly driveway all by himself… but he’s not going to be sparking any fantasies. The guy I saw yesterday at the grocery store is another story. Boy, he was hot. Looked a lot like David Sutcliffe, who played Christopher on The Gilmore Girls, a show I will never, ever admit to having ever watched, or forced family members to watch with me, OK? Anyway, the grocery-store guy sparked shrinking fantasies right away.
And the above has nothing to do with the short video of the dwarfs getting ready to pummel Snow White into a bloody mess, before they found out the home invader was a girl. When I was a toddler learning to read, I was convinced that the Snow White described in the Grimm tales, had broken and entered into the nearly dollhouse-sized home of men that were five inches in height. I have no idea why I pictured them that minute. When the story was read to me, and I listened to the description of what Snow White was doing, everything she saw sounded so delightfully small to me. When she lined up those little beds together, I figured there was only enough length to those beds to barely fit her length. I loved it.
When she cleaned and cooked for them as they picked and pocked their workday away, I imagined tiny rooms, and tinier pots and pans. So, imagine my tremendous disappointment when I was taken to see Disney’s Snow White, and I saw that the seven dwarfs are colossal, unwieldy human beings that did not look at all like this:
And to add insult to injury, in the end she storms off with that horrid Prince, instead of absconding with one of the should-have-been-hot dwarfs. At one point in my adult life, I read a sci fi retelling of Snow White in which she does fuck the brains off a half-sized man, so imagine my delight. If I ever re-retell that story, I’ll tell you what I’m going to do: the Dwarfs will all be two inches tall, and all she’ll have to do to clean that little cottage in the woods is blow, and she will crush that witch under the sole of her foot, and one of the Dwarfs, the one she has a not-so-secret crush on, will revive her with a kiss on her lips. No, not those lips.
And I wish I had created it, but I didn’t. Does anyone know who did? All I know is that I saved it when I found it, back in January 2009. It’s one of my favorite half-sized-man collages, and perfect in its simplicity. The blurriness adds to its realism, as it makes me imagine it was shot by a friend, in the spur of the moment. It also tells me a story…
Petronila sat alone in the waiting room. She had hardly moved since they took her husband deep into the hospital bowels, and told her she had to stay put. She hated the way they were looking at her; she hated the questions they had asked her; but most of all, she hated the way it hurt to breathe. Terror starts in the lungs, she thought. It starts there, so that I have to make myself breathe despite this oppressive weight on my chest. Where’s the doctor? What are they doing to him?
Her best friend peered in, and sprung from the door frame to Petronila’s side as soon as she saw her. Petronila felt tears leap from her eyes like escaping prisoners when Nora embraced her fiercely. “Pet! I rushed over as soon as I got your text. What happened? Where’s Peter? Oh my God, you are shaking.”
Pet broke into sobs in her friend’s arms, unable to speak for a moment. Nora let her go just to sit next to her on a couch no one would have thought comfortable. “Nora, I don’t know what I’m going to do if…”
“Shh! Don’t say it. Don’t ever say it. He’ll be OK. Everything is going to be OK.”
“I should have never let him climb that wall! But you know how he is. He’s been impossible since the outbreak. Everyone tells you to expect wild mood swings, and bouts of terrible anger, but there’s nothing like living with a shrinking man whose brain is no longer his.”
Nora sighed, and stroked Pet’s arms soothingly. Her own husband had received the vaccine against the Shrinking Death, called that way despite the fact that very few of its victims died after contracting it. Nanoretroviridae. It replaced ever cell of its host with an exact replica, except smaller. Much, much smaller. Peter had not been vaccinated in time.
“You should have seen how the doctor looked at me. Like it was my fault! I didn’t push Peter. I begged him to get down, but we had been fighting for days. I thought this outing would help. Some fresh air, some exercise…” Pet started crying again, and she sunk her face into her friend’s shoulder. Nora just sat there, comforting her friend silently for as long as she could, but then she just had to ask.
“Is… does Peter know? Did you tell him?” Nora felt Pet grow stiff in her arms before she pulled away. Her face was taut with angry grief.
“Yes, I told him. I wish I hadn’t, thought there’s no way to hide it. I won’t be able to hide it if it’s a girl. I have never seen him so furious. He told me- no, ordered me to get an abortion. He knows about the babies, now that so many of them are being born.”
Nora wished with all her heart she could help her friend, but she knew that baby would not be normal. What could she say? She could think of nothing to say.
“What are you thinking? Just tell me! Do you think it’s my fault?”
Nora gave Pet a shocked look. “ Of course not! I know they will tell you Peter should have stayed home until his brain is fully replicated, but I’ve known you guys forever. I know how tough this has been for you, and Peter is the most stubborn man I have ever met.”
Pet’s eyes filled with new tears as she tried to get the words out. “Nora, I think… I think he might have jumped.”
Nora’s head swung back as thought she had been slapped. Her eyes were big. “No, no way. God, no. I can’t believe it!” She hugged her friend again.
“He thinks he’s going to father a freak!” Pet dissolved into sobs again, but quickly regained some composure, and continued. “Those babies are beautiful. I mean, they all are perfectly proportioned. So what if the female babies grow abnormally long after birth? That one in Scotland is, what now? Twelve feet long? And she’s only six months old. And the ones born male are so tiny! If this is a boy, it’ll never show. I’m having this baby.”
Nora sighed, thinking about babysitting a giant baby, no matter how beautiful. She blurted, before she could stop herself, “I’m not changing those diapers.”
Pet looked at her, and exploded in uncontrollable laughter. Nora joined her, and they shook in each other’s arms until a nurse peeked in and gave them a curious look mingled with disapproval. The doctor rushed past her, and Pet jumped to her feet, and was at his side in an instant. “Doctor! How’s my husband?”
“He’s fine. We scanned his head, and see no apparent injuries. There’s some external swelling where his head hit the ground. His skull is intact, and we’re going to keep him overnight. He’s regaining consciousness, so I’m going to run some further tests. I see from his records that he contracted the Nano virus a year ago. Is that accurate?”
“Look, I know I was hard on you when you first brought him in, but I know the brain is the last organ affected by the mutation, and it’s the last one to reorganize. He should be back to normal soon. I know how difficult his illness must have been for you.”
How the hell do you know anything, thought Pet. You don’t look shrunken to half, or one third of your size. But she didn’t say anything. She was too relieved to say anything. She just wanted to see Peter.
“Can I see him now?”
“Yes, go ahead.”
The end? Hmm, no. Not the end.
I need to know what this is:
Many of you must have some information about it. All I know right now is that it’s in German. If I wasn’t in the middle of fixing dinner I would stop everything and go on a search for it, to buy it and watch it a million times. Or stream it. No, buy it. Alright, I’m off to my giant kitchen.
That is, if I can walk. After watching that, I feel I’m both melting, and exploding.
I don’t know exactly how old I was… I’m thinking four, or five years old, when my parents took us to the movies to see The Gnome-Mobile. It had already been in and out of theaters for quite some time in the States, and down there, in my Motherland, it was only shown as the preview to the main attraction, and I can’t remember what that was. I can’t recall anything about the gnomes, or humans, or the silly movie plot. What I do remember was boredom. Terrible, soul-crushing boredom during the first twelve minutes of the movie, which as you know are equal to an eternity at that tender age.
I was fidgeting restlessly in my seat when the above scene came on. I remember feeling paralyzed, as though struck by lightning. I remember my head felt like it was on fire, and my brain was cooking in it. That difference in size between the cute little gnome and the girl was some kind of ground zero for feelings I could not verbalize. All I knew to do was to sit in my seat, and watch. I hoped it would happen again, this I’m looking up/down at you interaction, but it never did, and the rest of the movie was moved to Memory Banks of the Irrelevant.
I also knew to keep very quiet about the way I was feeling. I couldn’t have explained it anyway… the same way I couldn’t explain my deep disappointment when I finally watched Snow White, and saw that the Dwarves were distinctly huge, and not particularly fetching. As time moved on, I thought back on that moment, and wondered what the hell it might have meant to feel that way, to have that particular scene of the movie galvanize me in such a manner. I never had an answer. Not until I finally had the lightbulb notion to look it up on the Internets.