December 11, 2008 § Leave a comment
It’s a little late, but I want to write a book for Daniel for Christmas. Whitney says he likes Spiderman and rocket ships. I went to amazon.com to look for toys and games and found the usual junk. He’s four. This may be his best Christmas. Shouldn’t he have his own book about a boy named Daniel taken up in a rocket ship by Spiderman to visit the weird creatures on a moon of Jupiter? I’m thinking he’d be interested in how astronauts deal with having to go to the bathroom. The recycling of urine: fascinating when you’re four, and still deep inside the mysteries of the body, your body, your one and only. (That sinuous, silky feel of being a child. Nimble, agile, balanced, low center of gravity!) He’s four, and sometimes life at home is a drag. Why not go up on a rocket ship with Spiderman? I would. I’d go with the aliens of our 1980’s mass fantasy—world peace or anal probes, adjust for type. At the time, I wouldn’t have (a little timid) but now? Now I’d go almost anywhere that’s unquestionably strange.
So I want to write a story for him, and I guess I won’t have time. I’d have to be utterly happy with it. I’d want it printed somehow, or at least handsomely bound. And I’m afraid if I started writing about Spiderman I’d make him too much my own. I’ve already got him living on the West coast of Mars (Jupiter is a little too far, chilly) with a talking cat who escaped from a top-secret lab, Count Chokula and Young Frankenstein, Sid Vicious and Mary Poppins.
I’d do better to stick with astronauts and recycled pee. But what about drifting in black space, held only by a slim tether while one fixes the that part of the warp drive that’s making a whimpering sound? Is that part of his fantasy? Or does he just like the explosion, take-off, the shimmery acceleration as the rocket splits open the sky?