Sunday, January 09, 2005

Knightfall 12: Falling, yes, I am falling...

...and he keeps calling / me back again.

Last week I got another phone call from the Monk. It was the first time I'd heard his voice in at least a month, probably two. (Mostly been text-only during that time, and as our relationship has evolved, and as a result of work-plus-holiday-plus-illness, there's been less daily contact.) We'd been in text contact that morning awaiting a long-scheduled battle with a hero, who turned out to be a no-show, so M's focus turned to me instead. I made a slip, broke one of his rules, and the moment I was alone he called to reprimand me.

My heart raced when the phone rang, and the minute he spoke, I knew I was done for. When I answered him, the voice I used was completely different from the one I had employed back in my old bat-days. No longer brash, confident, and self-assured, I was now a snivelling, subservient, insignificant little (rat)man.

It was further evidence, as if I needed any, that I have indeed been broken. He used to swear he'd own the Batman mind, body, and soul, and I'll be damned if he didn't do it. Okay, I'm damned, period: nothing remotely resembling a "hero" any longer.

I find that unbelievably, almost unspeakably exciting, in part because it's just such a fucking obscene proposition: Batman, broken! There's no happy ending to the story, after all, just a hero who stared into the abyss and ended up falling in.

Does that make me a villain? Not exactly. As I've reported here, M has recruited me to help him break other heroes--more specifically, to taunt and prep them for him--and the simple fact is, playing the role of aggressor isn't really that exciting to me. I've often written that I don't accept the simple top/bottom dichotomy, and that when pressed I fall somewhere in between the two extremes depending on my mood, but in this particular subsection of the dreamworld, I--Ratman--am a total, unabashed mega-bottom. (My fantasy Batman is a bottom, too, but at least he puts up a stern public front.) Debased, humiliated, my dreams all shattered--and incredibly turned on by that prospect. Sure, I'll take down a hero, violate him, punish him... but only because M orders me to. It's not really something I'd do on my own. There's a degree of sadism in some of my fantasies involving heroes, but mostly in the service of a greater masochism.

By coincidence (if there is such a thing), as I write these words, I'm listening to an episode of the NPR show To the Best of Our Knowledge devoted to the theme of "Failure", which I recommend to anyone else who knows the erotic appeal of falling from grace.

What this particular period of my ongoing bat/rat lucid dream provides me with is a chance to explore some complex feelings stirred up in my daylight life these days, as I find myself employed in various jobs suited for people 20 years younger than me. Invariably, these trigger my desire (rooted in my youth in the South, I'm convinced) to be liked, to please other people. Power has always made me nervous; when I'm in positions that provide me with some degree of it (teacher, director, etc) I tend to do whatever I can to subvert it. And when I'm in positions where I don't have much power, or where I have to answer to someone else who does, I tend to bristle.

More to be said on all this later, I'm sure. For now, though, just noting another landmark in my dream devolution.

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