Sunday 25 November 2018


by Joseph Isaacs


If you think it’s easy being a fictitious character think again. Sure, we aren’t real. But that’s what hurts the most. We’re sort of like Pinnochio, I want to be a real boy. But I am not.
I can shoot out a dozen bad guys with my AK-47. I can wear sun glasses and slow walk away from an exploding building. I sleep with at least a dozen anatomically impossible women a day (it’s amazing what they can do with special effects these days). And so, what? I don’t feel a thing.
My author tries. She tries to torture me. Make him uncomfortable, make him weep, make his girlfriend, his dog, and his best friend die. Well, thanks a lot! But the truth is, I don’t really feel any of it.
I’m too busy with the next scene, the next sequence. I can never just truly be, you know.
Take today. Today I was in a romance. This voluptuous woman is waiting for me to tear her shirt off. But I’m just not feeling it, you know? She says, “What’s wrong? Is it me? Am I poorly written?”
I say, “No darling. It’s not you. Your beautiful. Your bodice is entirely revealing. Your long blonde hair cascades nicely down your slender shoulders. It’s just. It feels contrived you know?”
She sat down next to me on the railing of the pirate ship and pulled out a pack of Camels and offers me one. She lights us both up and takes a puff.
“You get used to it,” she said. “Do you know how many bodices I’ve had ripped off me? How many throbbing manhoods I’ve had thrust inside me? I feel like a cheap whore. But the truth is, I still feel it. I still get turned on, my heart still breaks, I still fall in love.”
“With me?” I ask, surprised. “You’re falling in love with me?”
“Well, yeah. I mean I was written that way. But its more than that, you know? I mean here we are on this pirate ship in the middle of this fictitious ocean. The stars are out. Yeah, the constellations are all wrong, the north star ought to be north, for Christ’s sake. But this is the only world, we’ll ever know, you know? This is it. Our shot. We don’t get another.”
I exhale through my nose. “You’re pretty smart for a ditsy blonde heroine.”
“Hey, don’t stereotype. You’re pretty sensitive for a muscle-bound idiot who does his own stunts.”
So there we are. Two fictitious characters, not even plausibly constructed or realistic, falling in love in a make-believe pirate ship. But then she gets cut! The script writer tosses the whole fucking scene. I’ll never see her again in all likelihood.
But there is this. I feel it.

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