Friday, November 26, 2004

Knightfall 7: Death of a Mauve Bat

There haven't been many "Knightfall" updates here lately because both the Monk and I were otherwise engaged for much of the last month and a half. We resumed sparring in earnest a week or two ago, the Monk convinced that he would ultimately succeed in destroying the Batman and replacing him with Ratman.

And damned if he hasn't gotten away with it--or so it seems for now. All I can say is, in one of many moments of weakness a couple of days ago I finally did as I was told and replaced my cowl with a new mask constructed from the "flag" of yellow cumstained undies he ordered me to create back when he first broke me. I did so offline--not under his direct instructions but of my own volition, more or less--and then logged on and found him waiting to see the end result of his handiwork. All along I'd been expecting some huge, titanic confrontation, but it never really happened. I just felt my bat-self start to slip away and a new one take hold.

So I guess the unthinkable has happened: The Bat in me is--or at least damn well appears to be--dead. Long live the Rat. (Amazingly, it didn't dawn on me that I was actually born in the Year of the Rat until just a few weeks ago.) I can't believe that's completely true, but I'm willing to play this out and see where it takes me. For starters, he's now the one in the bat-mask, playing the part of The Evil Bat. And I presume he intends me to become a villain, or at least his henchman. But I can't say for sure--and I'm certainly not the one in charge now.

By coincidence (or divine providence), last night and tonight I watched the movie The Five Obstructions, in which crazy Danish director Lars Von Trier convinces his mentor Jørgen Leth to remake one of Leth's earlier films 5 times, in 5 different ways, adhering to a series of preposterous rules (examples from 3 separate "obstructions": no shot can last more than 30 seconds; it must be remade as a cartoon; it has to be shot in the most miserable place on earth). The relationship between the two men is surprisingly similar to that between the Monk and me: there is a root friendship and mutual admiration, but the surface interactions are straight out of s/m, with Von Trier as the Top determined to humiliate his victim (and convinced that he knows Leth better than Leth knows himself), and Leth as the humble bottom gamely agreeing to one demented rule after another (using each as an opportunity to further his own craft).

For the last few weeks I've also been driving around listening to Don Delillo's book Cosmopolis on tape, read by ultra-cutie Will Patton, and I just finished it the same day as my downfall. Here, too, there is a Top/bottom dynamic, though I won't say too much about it for fear of revealing too many late-chapter plot developments. (Another coincidence: rats serve as a recurring motif throughout the novel.) If you're interested in the deeper ramifications of s/m-style interactions, I recommend both works to you. I'm not totally crazy about either one, but both have their interesting qualities.

Now that my bat-self appears to be dead, I've been toying with the idea of ending this "Knightfall" series of blog entries and beginning a new one, with the working title "Diary of a Bottom" or something like that. (Maybe the title will focus on my new role as villain instead... if that's what the Monk has in mind for me.) But who knows what the future will bring? The last time I thought I'd been beaten for good proved to be only temporary--I donned the batsuit many times in the intervening weeks, as soon as I had the opportunity to spend a few glorious hours by myself once again. Something tells me (okay, the MONK tells me) this time will be different.

But we'll see. The bat within me is too strong a driving force, for too many years, to be exorcised in a few months of online roleplay. He's bound to return sooner or later, in some brand-new state. Or so I hope.

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