A damsel in one, and a nine in the other

by Jinryu

I have this list of things to do in life.  It’s hard to say exactly what’s on this list because sometimes I forget about something on it and then don’t remember about a particular goal for a couple of months, maybe even years.  But the list is made up of some of the most random shit ever.  How things make it onto the list isn’t a consistent affair either.

When I was younger, I decided at some point that I wanted to write a novel.  So that’s on the list. That’s not quite done yet.  I have tried: started perhaps 8 times, gotten a fair amount of writing done on each project, but I’ve never been able to really finish anything.  Hello Nanowrimo again this year: see you all in the loser’s circle!

But there’s stranger stuff on this bucket list than that.  One of them was to “own cufflinks,” and that goal comes out of nothing but consumer whorism.  Basically, the only reason that cufflinks are on the list is specifically because cufflinks, to me, represent something truly useless.  Modern shirts have buttons. Much more convenient. I suppose they look pretty spiffy (which is something I say nowadays in retrospect) but when i first decided I wanted cufflinks, they were symbolic– symbollic of me finally having cash to burn on something absolutely frivolous.  So, I bought cufflinks one day while I was in South Korea.  It was hardly a momentus occasion– I ordered a set on Gmarket, and it came with a matching tie clip.  The whole set cost me less than 8000won at the time (less than 8 dollars canadian today).  Spending pocket change like that is hardly some sorta indication of living life in the fast lane.  But, I did spend almost a hundred bucks on a British made silk shirt, that is, essentially, ‘black’.  So in terms of the essence of that goal, which was be at a point in my life where I to waste money and be able to afford it,

Another goal that came out of my childhood was to own my own martial arts school.  That came out of watching Ranma 1/2 as a kid– I wanted to start up my own school of “Anything Goes Martial Arts.”  Well, I never exactly became a grandmaster of anything, but I did study a fair number of different techniques over the years and although I wouldn’t say that MAC was my school, Numac certainly came close. It wasn’t so much that I wanted to be a grandmaster– although that would’ve been nice– it was that as a kid, I liked the Saotome lifestyle.  It was madness.  Everyday you’d have to fight someone different and with a different set of rules and techniques, everyday you had to be on top of your game.  And the only way to make it through another day was because along the line, you’d made rivals who turned out to be friends who likewise liked the lifestyle of a martial artist: blood, sweat, tears.  Even though Numac wasn’t a school, it fit the bill of that childhood dream of opening up a place where people could be in a situation for that kind of dedication, and those kinds of memories.  The kind of stuff that makes men out of boys, or at least, decanters the boys out of the room.

What I’m getting at is that a lot of the times, when you come up with a goal, you’ve got this specific way that you want the dream to be, but sometimes you achieve it and you actually don’t notice.  The fact that you got there might be the essence is right there, and that’s the feeling, that’s the certain je ne sais quoi that you’ve been hunting all along, but perhaps you overlooked the success of it all because the packaging isn’t exactly like the dream you imagined.

I have some other goals, and one of them was to be in a action hero moment where I’d have a damsel in one arm, and a gun in another.  In case you remember the days of NES, you might recognize this image very clearly as the cover of an unlicensed NES title called Rolling Thunder:

Yeah, that’s pretty much what the dream looked like.  Not so much that the damsel was dead. That’s not the goal.  But– I suppose, to have someone to protect.

And no, I haven’t purchased/stumbled upon a laser gun, but, last night, I did have a dream that myself and two friends were fighting ‘the good fight.’  I can’t remember exactly what it was we were fighting for, but I know that, as per usual, the situation involved ninjas, and lots of them.  I, in this particular situation, wasn’t using my martial arts prowess in this particular dream– this time, I seemed to have myself an Auto-9 (Robocop’s gun) and I was shooting the crap out of anything that got close.

At some point, we needed to run up the side of a skyscraper to make dustoff on the roof helipad (although why you’d need a helicopter if you were capable of running up the side of a skyscraper, don’t ask me).  My buddies yelled: “Let’s go!”

And all of a sudden, [Supergirl] materialized in one of my arms.  I couldn’t run up the side of the building.  And the reason why was because in the real world, she was lying in bed next to me, in one of my arms.  I had her close.  She’d just stirred in my sleep and half brought me out of my dream in the process.

Somehow my dream consciouness decided to remember this and at that very moment, I couldn’t wake her.  I decided at the same time that I wasn’t going to abandon her.

“You guys get in the chopper!  I’ll catch up!”  They didn’t question me, so I stayed there in the midst of the mob and continued to shoot ninjas like nobody’s business.

And yeah, to answer your question, I felt awesome, as one always does when you get that few ‘n far between feeling that somewhere in life as you are, you’re where you’re supposed to be, doing what you wanted to do.

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