Desire plus Six

It’s Christmas time, the time for Desire – of things. Letters to Santa, hints to anybody who’ll listen, visions of video games wreaking havoc  in our heads. Rapid heartbeats as we survey the presents and wonder is what I want in there? Will my greatest Desire be fulfilled and make me eternally happy? Maybe. It’s Christmas, the time for miracles.

It’s always time for that other kind of desire. The kind that can drive you crazy. The kind you don’t need Valentine’s day to gear up for. The kind that gets you right in the crotch when that one special, to your eyes, one walks by. The one that makes you do crazy things, like go up to him/her and try to be hip and cool to impress, but instead stumble and sweat and make a complete fool of yourself. Which could take your desire in two directions.

The Sandman’s sister, Desire, might lead you to obsession. “So what if there’s a boy or girlfriend, a husband or wife,” you might say. “We are meant to be together, (meant by who is never questioned) so whatever dark place I have to go to to bring us together is right and necessary. ” This is the Desire of nightmares, sleeping and waking. The Desire that eats you up inside, alienates you, eats your brain and replaces it it with evil thoughts,  makes you a stalker, a killer. A fool.

It also may lead you to the Desire of Achievement. “So what if I made an ass of myself  in front of my  Object Of Desire (OOD), and they think I’m some lowlife scum stalker who should not be allowed in polite society. I’ll show him/her.” So you turn your obsession to yourself. You claw your way to success in business, money and society just to impress your OOD. And there you are at a huge dinner thrown to honor your success and good works and your OOD is introduced and they fall for you and you live happily ever after. Don’t laugh. It could happen that way. Or… see below.

I haven’t seen the movie Young Adult yet, but it sounds as if it might be an addendum to this blog.

But this is Christmas. Your desire may lean to video games, or clothes (lame) or a CD or books (Ha! Bet you thought you’d get away without a sneaky promo stuck in) or get togethers with family and friends (isn’t F and Fs getting to be a tad overused?) or “Please please don’t make me go to that party if Uncle  Todd and Cousin It are going to be there and Drinking!”

Good or bad, Desire makes the world go round, up to the pinnacle of success and happiness, or  down to the depths of Hell.  Without Desire there would be no stories –  no movies, books or fairy tales. No civilization. Where would we be if the first caveman (or woman) with the first faint spark of intelligence hadn’t desired to cross a river or eat everyday or get that stalker dude/dudette away from me? Nowhere. On the other side of the river ignoring the greener pastures just over there.


What if you did make a fool of yourself, more than once, and were rebuffed each time? Fortunately for you and OOD, you took the success route. There you were, finally good enough for OOD, and you didn’t want them anymore. But they wanted you, bad. Suddenly you were the stalkee. Would you be understanding? “I know how it feels, darling. But it’s not going to work out.” Would you tell them to piss off, because you’re too good for them now? How far would you go to protect your new success. Would you let your Desire to be free of your OOD lead you to the dark side, ending back where you began, on the bleak bottom side of want?

What if you were that first caveperson? What if by some deux ex machina event you had more than a spark of intelligence, it was like an explosion in your head. Suddenly, you got it, knew it all, could figure it all out. Along with that explosion came an equal amount of ambition – Desire by another name. Where would it lead you, what could you hope to accomplish back then? What if you found out you didn’t age, but you could die? What would your Desire to live do to your ambition? What if, knowing what you know now, you were transported back to the cave? Do you think your Desires would be different?

What if you were a kid and you really really really wanted something for Christmas, but your parents didn’t have much money and told you that if you could save half the cost they’d match you and get your OOD. What antics and clever ideas that just didn’t quite work could you and a friend or two come up with? What hilarity might ensue? What lessons learned? What good feeling might be spread. There is a dark side to this What If?, but it’s Christmas so I’ll leave it alone. But it’s still there.

What if, aliens bent of conquest released a gas in the atmosphere that curbed all human desire. Not just for sex or love, but everything. This lack of Desire slowly evolved into apathy. Soon people were too apathetic to eat or drink and they weakened and died. Just what the aliens wanted. But nothing affects everybody. Some will survive and they will fight. In this case a drug cartel kingpin, an advertising executive, a spammer, an auto production line worker, and a biochemist.  How would these people restore human desires and save the world?

Desire is necessary for human civilization and survival. Just don’t let them kill you. Besides, without them, Santa would be out of a job.  Happy Holidays.

Death plus Six

First, A Shameless Promotional moment! (Except for Mitch)If you are getting or giving a Kindle or Nook or any other E-Reader for Christmas, don’t forget the e-books to go with it. can help.

I am just now reading the last volume in the Sandman series of graphic novels created by Neil Gaimin. The Sandman is Dream, one of the Endless along with his brothers and sisters – Death, Desire, Despair, Delirium, Destruction and Destiny. (6, get it?)

Death is the oldest. This is perhaps a practical matter. Without Death making way for the new, where would we put all of them? Immortality may be an interesting idea, but practically speaking, except for me and you, it’s a no go. Unless, and you’ve no doubt already figured this out you smarty you, you develop space travel early on and send the Newbies, or maybe the bored Oldies, off to another planet, and then another and another – but that’s a different blog. (Oh great, another immortality post) Death is the oldest because all things, bugs, animals, people, planets, stars, galaxies and the like all end up in her arms eventually.

When Death takes you in her arms is up to Destiny. That, too, is a future blog.

What if Death gets bored? He/she/it is always busy, as most people know too well.  A million times a day she (He or it – your choice) scoops up souls on Destiny’s timetable.  In the book I’m working on,  Ancient Mariners, Death is  represented by, wait for it, a large black Albatross. I think the Death in my story decided for whatever reason, to go off book.  Maybe the bad guy was scheduled to die at a certain time – heart attack, a fall down stairs, a random bullet. But Death, to relieve the tedium of embracing the dead since Time began, (or maybe just to screw with her Endless brother, Destiny) picked my two protagonists and created a mission for them. They were trained, prepared, nudged to be at the proper place at the proper time so that the bad guy’s death was not  random. But unlike so many meaningless, stupid, untimely deaths, had some meaning for those present at the time.

Death isn’t a bad guy (person or being,  if you need to be PC.)  Though it might seem she is pursuing you, she isn’t really. She’s just making sure that when the time comes, she’s there to catch you.


What if Death wrote a book? What would she (see above) have to say? I read a novel a few years ago, that I unfortunately can’t remember the name of, narrated by Death as she followed a girl/woman throughout her life.  In your book, maybe there’d be a day in the life, so to speak. Maybe interesting stories of particular people and how they came to be in her arms.

What if (oh damn, here’s those immortals again) your novel followed the cat and mouse existence between an Immortal and Death. Both aware of each other, maybe they have a coffee or a drink together sometimes.  Oh the stories they could tell, the comments of the past, present and future. Maybe the Immortal sneaks in to Destiny’s den and almost sees the date of his/her death. Or maybe it’s open-ended, a mystery to all.

Many people would do anything to prolong their lives. What would you do? Make a deal, your life for someone else’s? Offer to be her apprentice, then stab her in the back? Best be careful, she’s been around a long time and knows all the tricks. If money can’t buy a longer life, what can? What does Death want to  jigger the books for you, or push you back when you fall into her arms? Maybe there are two Deaths and you could play one against the other.

What if Death fell in love?  What if without his/her knowledge Death did jigger the books? Then they met, and the object of Death’s affection fell in love, too. Then they were found out – What would they do, where could they run, who would be chasing them, besides love, what else did they have to lose?

Unless you know something I don’t, you can run, but you can’t hide. So don’t worry about it and do your best to enjoy the time you have. Then you’ll have some stories to tell.