Werner Drewes, "Fish Monster" 1944
Werner Drewes, Fish Monster (1944)
Can a Game Be Literature?

Mark's Pages

February 3, 2004:

As a child I covered the top part of one bedroom wall with bubblegum trading cards of various oogly monsters. They were colorful and silly, and I loved them for their inspired improbability. Turned out that of all their desirable qualities they were above all permanent, refusing to come unstuck from that wall forever after, so that years later, under multiple coats of annual white paint, you could still see their outlines.

Much of my feeling of rootlessness comes, I think, from the loss of that room. I frequently dream of being there, and often times, in those moments when you awaken unsure where you are, I believe I really am there, so that the first thing I want to do on waking is make sure I've closed the window properly, and I'm confused for some moments to realize there's no window to close.

Picture the two of them tightly entwined in a tiny single bed, arms and legs and hair and breath intermingled, exhausted and elated and so in love that sleep seems like an interloper, like something that steals precious moments from their lives together. She's gold and peach and beautiful, and so alive she shines in the dark. He's tanned and black-haired and so impossibly energetic that not ten king beds could hold him, certainly not this ridiculous little single one.

They're happy there. I don't know how they ever lost that.

Maybe not all monsters are bad. These were like guardians, I think. Watching over me from under their blanket of paint, that never hid them, at least in the way the grownups wanted them hid.

Maybe there's something to be said for avoiding what the grownups want.