Friday, September 28, 2007

Hero Worship

I watched the first ten episodes of Heroes season one last night. It felt great to escape the grinding stress of the job and the book deadline and life in general. My brain got to go out and play and today I feel totally refreshed, even though I had half the sleep I usually get. Mental vacations: cheaper and less fattening than taking a cruise. No sunburn or stomach virus either.

Heroes is the kind of story I wish I had written. Like Firefly, the characters are as rich and vivid as the multi-layered plot and special effects. Season two of Heroes premiered last Monday. I have to finish season one fast so I can catch up with real time viewing. I need a TIVO. Or the power to bend space and time.

I have always loved science fiction. It's like fairy tales with lasers and cyborgs. (You know our twins are named after the two good guys from the Terminator dontcha? Kyle Reese and John Connor. If they had been triplets? Neo, Trinity and Morpheus.) I read I Am Legend (The Omega Man) in fifth grade. I devoured everything by Harlan Ellison I could get my jr. high school hands on - we even met him once at Iowa. Remember that, Dad?

Pending Apocalypse, precognition, time travel, and explosions/implosions as a back drop for (ooh, here comes the girly-gratification part) love, drama and relationships. What could be better than that?

Last night was not the first time I retreated into a comic-book colored world when life was pressing in on me. It's sort of a reoccurring self-defense mechanism. The first time it happened it nearly prevented me from graduating high school.

It was May 1985: the Saturday before finals week. I picked up a hard cover copy of Stephen King's The Stand at a yard sale. A bargain at $1 because the dust jacket was missing. I made the dire mistake of opening it that same day and barely slept for the next six.

I read for hours at a stretch, until the panic of flunking an exam or not finishing a paper would overwhelm me enough to eclipse the threat of total nuclear destruction. I would then reluctantly pound out a few pages of a term paper on a borrowed typewriter (it had a navy blue ribbon) before returning to my adventure in post-apocalypse America. Can you blame me? I mean how could I concentrate on trivial stuff like earning a diploma when the ENTIRE WORLD was in Peril? I aced my finals and the world was saved. It was a good week.


GeorgiePorgie said...

How well I remember going to Harlan Ellison's lecture on your campus. We came in fashionably late and he paused and looked at us as we took our seats. You were a stunning redhead then (instead of a gorgeous brunette now). Then when you went to his book signing, he remembered you and hit on you - Harlan always liked the ladies. Aaaaaand, yes, I like to watch Heroes as well - and I did see the premiere on Monday. It's about these..........


Anonymous said...

Ha! Nick is a sci-fi fan. He goes to a marathon every year and has begun indoctrinating--I mean including--Olivia (named for a Shakespearan character, not a sci-fi chick). Did I ever tell you our first date was Space Balls?

Anonymous said...

How about the time you did a science project on UFOs? I remember you and Dad putting that one together and you getting total immersed to the point of nightmares. Dad has also said if they came to get him that he would have to go. Now maybe he'll have company. Mom