Friday, March 7, 2014

Dear Dream,

I know it's weird to write to my fictional character. Well, maybe you don't consider it so, but I--and most people--kind of do. I've talked to you through all these years, written about the things that happened to you, the people you've met, and everything you've said--but I've never really written anything to you and only you. I can't even spend too much time on this letter because, oddly enough, it's also my brother's birthday, so it's a busy day. (Is this weirder? I sort of knew I'd forget yours if I didn't make it relevant. Don't hate me for it. I forgot everyone else's birthdays so clearly this method works).

And isn't it just great that
Elle Fanning is your faceclaim?
You've been with me since you were twelve. I was fourteen when you crashed into my head and--to an extent--my life. Today you turn sixteen--so we're both practically old ladies by your standards. I don't know if you thought you'd make it this far. You have never exactly lived an easy life. But despite all that I've thrown at you, you made it. You continue to grow older and stranger, just the way we've always wanted.

I don't know how or why you appeared. I don't know why you managed to stick around for so long, to jump through every universe I could think to steer you into. You were--and maybe still are--pretentious, silly, sweet, and dramatic when we started. But you were also slightly dangerous back then--deranged in ways that confused me and everyone else who wrote with me. And that made it interesting.

I'm proud of you, but I'm also thankful for you. You've made me a better writer. You were my first character with a whole original, distinct, powerful voice. You surprised me when you told me you liked another girl and when you revealed a side that thirsted for violence and serenity. You were the reason I formed friendships with incredible people and met some truly twisted, terrible individuals--but that's alright. Because as you grew and made friends and enemies with other writers' imaginary head-people, I made friends and enemies with either the messed up or wonderful creators. I learned a lot about people, about writing, and about morals because of you.

In my head, if I stop for a moment to see you, you'll be thirteen years old. You'll have those scars across your pretty face, you'll smell of leaves and dirt, and you'll only wear one boot. You'll always be 6'1 despite your youth and rather harsh upbringing. You'll always refuse to believe in heroes and villains--but only because your optimism disagrees with such simplistic definitions.  And I know, that no matter the age or time, the presence of danger or the fleeting joys of love and companionship, you'll always be a wanderer.

This isn't a goodbye. I couldn't push you away if I tried. But we are fading apart a little bit. I haven't written for you in ages. I never even finished your little novella--but I'm not going to die before that's done, I promise.

Even if I never write another thing down for you, know that I'm thankful you came into existence. It might sound strange but I really do love you, Esther Paine. And don't make faces. It's a pretty name, even if you don't use it as often.

Thank you for being in my head for so long. And Happy Sixteenth Birthday.
P.S: Did you know today is also Master Chief's birthday? March 7th is so much cooler than December 13th >:(
"Science and science fiction have done a kind of dance over the last century... The scientists make a finding. It inspires science fiction writers to write about it, and a host of young people read the science fiction and are excited, and inspired to become scientists...which they do, which then feeds again into another generation of science fiction and science..."
- Carl Sagan, in his message to future explorers of Mars.