Saturday, October 20, 2018

October 20: The Cabin, My Son, Leatherface

(Ahab moving to go on deck; Pip catches him by the hand to follow.)

Lad, lad, I tell thee thou must not follow Ahab now. The hour is coming when Ahab would not scare thee from him, yet would not have thee by him. There is that in thee, poor lad, which I feel too curing to my malady. Like cures like; and for this hunt, my malady becomes my most desired health. Do thou abide below here, where they shall serve thee, as if thou wert the captain. Aye, lad, thou shalt sit here in my own screwed chair; another screw to it, thou must be."

"No, no, no! ye have not a whole body, sir; do ye but use poor me for your one lost leg; only tread upon me, sir; I ask no more, so I remain a part of ye."

"Oh! spite of million villains, this makes me a bigot in the fadeless fidelity of man!- and a black! and crazy!- but methinks like-cures-like applies to him too; he grows so sane again."

"They tell me, sir, that Stubb did once desert poor little Pip, whose drowned bones now show white, for all the blackness of his living skin. But I will never desert ye, sir, as Stubb did him. Sir, I must go with ye."

"If thou speakest thus to me much more, Ahab's purpose keels up in him. I tell thee no; it cannot be."

"Oh good master, master, master!

"Weep so, and I will murder thee! have a care, for Ahab too is mad. Listen, and thou wilt often hear my ivory foot upon the deck, and still know that I am there. And now I quit thee. Thy hand!- Met! True art thou, lad, as the circumference to its centre. So: God for ever bless thee; and if it come to that,- God for ever save thee, let what will befall."

(Ahab goes; Pip steps one step forward.)

"Here he this instant stood, I stand in his air,- but I'm alone. Now were even poor Pip here I could endure it, but he's missing. Pip! Pip! Ding, dong, ding! Who's seen Pip? He must be up here; let's try the door. What? neither lock, nor bolt, nor bar; and yet there's no opening it. It must be the spell; he told me to stay here: Aye, and told me this screwed chair was mine. Here, then, I'll seat me, against the transom, in the ship's full middle, all her keel and her three masts before me. Here, our old sailors say, in their black seventy-fours great admirals sometimes sit at table, and lord it over rows of captains and lieutenants. Ha! what's this? epaulets! epaulets! the epaulets all come crowding. Pass round the decanters; glad to see ye; fill up, monsieurs! What an odd feeling, now, when a black boy's host to white men with gold lace upon their coats!- Monsieurs, have ye seen one Pip?- a little negro lad, five feet high, hang-dog look, and cowardly! Jumped from a whale-boat once;- seen him? No! Well then, fill up again, captains, and let's drink shame upon all cowards! I name no names. Shame upon them! Put one foot upon the table. Shame upon all cowards.- Hist! above there, I hear ivory- Oh, master! master! I am indeed down-hearted when you walk over me. But there I'll stay, though this stern strikes rocks; and they bulge through; and oysters come to join me."

Ahab recognizes his own insanity in this chapter.  Does that make him sane?  He knows that his obsession spells doom for the crew of the Pequod, so he pushes Pip away.  Ahab has become attached to the boy, and Ahab knows that attachment might change his mind, make him more cautious.  In a way, Ahab, I think, sees himself in Pip.  They both suffer from mental illness.  Pip has become a surrogate son to him.

I'm staring at my green-haired son right now.  My son, who sometimes has the patience of Saint Francis and sometimes the patience of an angry hive of bees.  I know I haven't really written about him much in the last few months.  It's because he hasn't had many issues at school or home or dance.  He hasn't punched any kid in the face or brandished scissors at a teacher or kicked a tree down on the playground.

Instead, he's learned to play chess, gotten into VR gaming, and collects PoP figures.  He goes to dance.  Runs around outside.  Plays with his aunts' dogs.  Goes on shopping trips.  Reads.  Watches Impractical Jokers.  Swims.  Pretty much, he's a normal ten-year-old boy.  I never thought I'd be able to say that.

Of course, he has some bad days, but we all deserve those every once in a while.  He's learned to deal with his bad moods much less . . . violently.  He hasn't thrown any buckets at the TV and broken the screen in a long time.  This Halloween, he's chosen to go as Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  Yes, they make a Leatherface costume small enough for a ten-year-old, which I find a little alarming.  Even that thought seems pretty normal.  Boys his age like gore and monsters.  I did.

So today, I celebrate my little Leatherface.  It's snowing out right now.  I'm sure he'll be outside in his snow pants this afternoon, rolling around, trying to make snowballs, getting drenched.  Tonight, I plan to take him and his sister to a Haunted Hayride.  Not really sure how he's going to react to that.  He doesn't really like to be scared.  But, he asked to go.  This morning, my teenage daughter said to me, "If he freaks out, I'm going to kill him."

Saint Marty is thankful this morning for having a son with a chainsaw.

No comments:

Post a Comment