Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Knight After 9: Fear no evil

It's been far too long since my last update on batlife since my "enlightenment," thanks in part to a busy daylight-world schedule and in part to my not really wanting to take the time to flesh out all the links I've been accumulating lately (as in, for months) to include here. Think I'll save those for some other time and just catch you up on what's been going on lately--not much in terms of plot, plenty in terms of deeper insight. Character development, you might say.

in a nutshell, bizarre as this may sound to some of you who have followed the saga from its earliest days, things are great now on the bat-front. I look forward to my near-daily chats with the Monk with a passion that knows no bounds. All the energy I once invested in trying to escape him now goes into helping him with what he euphemistically calls "the mission." And I've never been happier as a masked crimefighter than helping him commit what many would probably (erroneously) consider crimes.

I have heard from a handful of self-styled heroes lately who call me a coward and accuse me of being weak for allowing myself to be defeated by my archenemy. But I tell them, in all sincerity: I've never felt stronger or more powerful in my bat-career! For starters, all those terms--"hero," "weak," "defeat," "archenemy"--must be placed solidly within quotes, because they no longer apply. The tables have been turned so thoroughly by now that it's almost hard for me to remember a time when those words ever fit without several layers of irony.

There is also a power in the fact that I no longer fear villains of any stripe, because there's nothing any one of them could do to me at this point that the Monk hasn't already done, and surely done far more effectively than anyone else possibly could. (Once again, that last line suggests an adversarial relationship between us that no longer exists. I refer, of course, strictly to the old days before my escape attempt and subsequent awakening.) I've had my mask removed, replaced, and restored by an absolute Master, and anything beyond that seems anticlimactic.

As for those so-called "heroes," I understand now that my true role is not to fight them (though I'll gladly do that, or help them against a lesser foe if the situation calls for it) but to assist in their education as I have been educated. My own transformation has been a difficult one in part because there are so few templates for it--I can't think of any comic book scenario in which Batman or someone like him freely chooses to embrace the symbiotic aspects of his relationship with his ultimate nemesis--and that struggle to find precedents has inspired me to offer my services as a role model to my peers. I can set an example for them: fully Batman, yet fully mindful of my debt to the Monk, eager to learn from and help him any way I can.

(I have a feeling this must all sound like crazy talk to a reader who has not followed the "Knight" entries leading up to this one. Oh, well--if it registers, good, and if it doesn't, so be it. My goal in recording this saga isn't really to convince anyone to think a certain way about me or my adventures, only to describe and contemplate what I'm experiencing as I experience it. The Monk saga is essentially a two-year-and-counting roleplay/collaborative improvisation, and this latest totally unexpected development has been thrilling beyond words. Yet I continue to search for words with which to describe it, celebrate it, share it.)

That's the update. The next installment of this chronicle will be packed with links. You have my word!

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