As I write, Thea is in bed, with her window covered, and Sam is behind the counter at the gas station, waiting and hoping to be held up. I am back from a long day dealing with editors and publishers and fellow writers and student manuscripts. It's purer at home, me and the kids, me and the zombies, but every now and then I have to venture outside into the world. What is the song that Ariel the little mermaid sings: I want to be where the people are. Yes, that place. I don't think I have ever identified with Ariel before -- don't know how comfy I am doing it now -- but I sympathize with her desire to do what the strange creatures are doing, walking around on their feet. I want to be like the rest of the world too -- I want to be where the money is.
But I don't want to live there. I want to visit, and go back home to what I care about. It's not that I don't care about money -- I do. It's an important part of a balanced and nutritious bank account. But it's not real to me. I use money to buy wine and hamburgers and tuition and electricity and car repairs and soccer cleats and concert tickets -- and soap and long long-distance telephone calls -- and those are real. (Funny how the wine came first, eh? I think it has something to do with the time of night.) But money itself is as hard to wrap my head around as a quantum physics problem or a board meeting.
There are people out there who do understand money. (Probably not you, if you are taking the time to read my blog.) To them, money is a living flowing entity, as real and powerful as the tide. I am envious on the surface, I guess, since these people are often rich enough to afford better wine and more concert tickets than I can, but deep down I don't care enough. And that's what the real world is: it's what you care about. Maybe I'm not Ariel after all. I want to visit with the people on land, but live under the sea. I'm off to Toronto tomorrow to help Thea look for a new apartment. That's real. And right now I plan to spend an hour or two on the zombies. Strangely enough, they are real too.
So my question is: if I'm not Ariel (and I'm okay with that), which Disney character am I? Opinions welcome. More later.