Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Headless Hero (Updated)

During childhood unconditional love is learned and accepted. From a relative, a pet or a beloved toy that is cherished almost like a family member. For me, it was Teela, Master’s of the Universe figure/doll.

 I adored her auburn hair secured in a bun on top of her head. The smooth of her back felt nice on my hand and her lean arms. A golden edged swimsuit like uniform was the only wardrobe for her.

I made her kick Skelator's ass in one assisted move. She didn’t take guff from a yellow toned Evil-Lynn who appeared to be nursing a bad case of jaundice.

Teela harbored a secret crush on He-Man who was actively pursued by Frosta and Sweet Bee.

 Teela was a tough ‘super hero.’ Hours were spent watching He-Man cartoons to see her antics and ballsy moves to protect the sometimes feminine Prince Adam. She was bad ass, something as a youngster I aspired to be. Still aspire to be. 

Most super heroes pretend they don’t have negative aspects about themselves. They mask it away with cool aliases and hearts of gold. There are Clark Kent and Peter Parker who with a blink of an eye turn into flawless creatures.

Like most real life heroes Teela had character faults. She was quick tempered, high strong and bossy. In the real world people can fall from grace. There are no silky spider webs to catch that tragic fall.

Embarrassingly I found out the hard way Teela wasn’t unbreakable. One boring afternoon I had a curious thought. I wondered how Teela’s head was put on her body. I didn’t think of the consequences of my actions, like real life people sometimes don’t do.

I twisted and turned her head still unsure how it was staying intact. The morbid experiment should have ended there. Poor brave and beautiful Teela. I decapitated her. With one evil swoop I popped her head right off.

Stunned I realized with horror what I did. There was her head clutched in my tiny hand. 

God knows I tried putting her back together in an emergency operation. I enlisted no help from my brothers and sisters. I would never hear the end of it. Elmer’s Glue, tape, a cast made of wet toilet paper were some of the medical procedures I attempted.

The surgery wasn’t successful.

I did my best to make her comfortable in her new state of being. I made her a bed, aka a soap dish and a piece of soft tissue for covers.

One day at Shakey’s Pizza I lost her head. Add insult to injury my brothers and sisters made fun of me. 

I mourned my hero and best toy. There was a humiliating denial period where I walked around with a headless Teela.

Finally one day I lost the rest of her (I suspect my mom tossed her away when I wasn’t looking).

The point of this story is that no one is without faults and incapable of hurting. The best heroes admit when they are wrong and work hard to get what they want.

 No bug bite or chemical plant disturbance can switch a person into a hero. It is how we deal with life that makes heroes in the gleaming eyes of others.