The long gap between updates on the Monk saga does not mean, sadly, that he's out of my life. Would that that were true! No, just because the Joker doesn't show up in every issue of Detective, it doesn't mean he's not still out there, plotting his next nefarious move.
The Monk's most recent move in our ongoing saga has been to sit and wait for me to come calling--and I've done so, I'm appalled to admit, more and more often in recent weeks. I've realized that the main "drug" in his arsenal is adrenaline: I get one charge when I venture out into his presence, and a second, larger one when he contacts me. I invariably come back to my senses after a few seconds of repartee, but each time I risk recapture... and each time it seems to get harder to make my exit before it's too late.
Obviously, there's a big part of me that wants to be caught (you can guess which literal body part I'm referring to). There's something extremely seductive for me about the chain of events that leads from initial failure to imprisonment to helplessness to utter submission. I've already lived through that cycle once with the Monk, and I can't deny that it evoked some powerful sensations for me.
In the process, by the way, I came into contact with lots of other superheroes. Some sought me out through these entries-- and I'm still always delighted to meet fellow travellers that way, BTW--while others I met when M would assign me to help him break them. In almost every case, I discovered that they shared my appetite for destruction at the hands of an unbeatable adversary. Not always to the same degree as me--though some would happily go even farther than I ever did.
Many of these heroes wanted to be able to control the details of their downfall: to come and go from captivity as they pleased; to decorate their cells according to their own desires, as it were. And lord knows there are times when I long for one single afternoon of surrender to my nemesis, after which I could pack up my mask and cape and be on my way. But the deal is, it doesn't work that way: the Monk will be satisfied with nothing less than my complete and irreversible elimination from the ranks of herodom. He vowed, long ago, that he would own me "mind, body, and soul," and there is no time-share option in a proposition like that.
One of the tactics he uses, shared by other nefarious types, is the gentle approach: to encourge me to relax, let my defenses go, and just surrender to the feeling of safety in his presence. Every time I hear this line (and I've employed it on numerous occasions in solo sessions), I want so badly to give in; I usually kick myself later for not doing so, foolish though it would be. But every time, something prevents me from letting go. I stand my ground--even when I feel myself sinking into quicksand.
And that's where I stand right this very minute: aware that I'm in danger of sinking, but not quite over my head just yet.
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