Any academic researcher would of course put their hands up in horror about what I decided to do at that point. An artist or a filmmaker might not care so much, though it would depend how ‘purist’ they were about their original intent and the medium they were using. But in either case, I could imagine the consternation some might feel because to some extent I shared it, though not enough to dissuade me from my course. I was going to do the one thing the experimenter and researcher should never, ever do. I was going to put myself in the experiment.
I’m not camera shy. I’m actually a reasonably good-looking guy, really. I work out semi-regularly, and I’ve been blessed with good genetics. So being on film doesn’t perturb me. It’s just that generally it doesn’t interest me much either. I’d never want to be an actor, for instance, or even a documentary ‘host’, talking to the camera about my observations. I prefer the pictures to tell the story, perhaps with some audio narration. I’m not a narcissist really. I prefer to watch than be watched.
With what was to follow, that’s probably a good thing. I’m not sure how an over-sized ego would have coped with what I was about to find. Man likes to think he’s the top of the evolutionary tree, at least on this planet. But what if he’s not? A revelation like that could be difficult to take if fancy yourself to be an incipient master of the universe, only to find you’re a pretender, at best, to the throne.
But I wanted to see what would happen if someone who knew what this girl could and was doing intruded into her space and her film to be with her while she was trying to do it, and let the camera show it all. I wanted to see what would happen if knowledge stepped in across the picture. There wasn’t any other way. I was hardly going to tell anyone else about my discovery. That would be like giving away the keys to a kingdom I hadn’t even visited yet. I’m neither that generous nor that stupid.
Besides, I liked the girl, I’ll admit. She was pretty and seemed a little lost. I had this internal conceit I think, the idea I could be the hero that found her, the prince that woke the sleeping princess, or something like that.
A friend of mine talks about her supposed ‘rescuer complex’. She thinks she spends most of her time saving people, mainly men, from themselves. Still, from my observation she seems a bit too pre-occupied with herself to save anyone much. Perhaps she saves men because having them in her life says something about her, something essential she needs. It’s certainly true she can never point to instances of even attempting to save women. Still, who am I to judge, really? Perhaps she does all that saving when I’m not around, and my purpose is to just hear about it.
Or perhaps she thinks she’s saved me somehow, but god knows how. It’s a disturbing thought actually and I can’t help thinking, now that I think about it, that if she wanted to save men and include me she could have thrown some money towards my project. She’s very well off. So I probably wasn’t worth saving, just worth hearing about it all. Ah, how interesting to exist as nothing more than a cypher to another’s life!
I wonder if this flickering girl ever felt something like that? She seemed like a cypher to something at any rate, something strange.
This dissection of my friend is a bit ungenerous of me, I suppose. Because here I was, wanting to rescue this elusive girl, if indeed she needed rescuing, or at least – like my friend – I wanted to see myself as a rescuer. The white knight. So I kind of wanted to be the one who actually could still see her, no matter what, if that was possible.
I was all confidence, of course, I always am. Ever since my teen years, when I suddenly turned from frog into emerging prince, girls have liked me. That suits me because I like them. I’m perverse as the next guy though. I tend to particularly like the ones that don’t, oddly enough, like me, or not as much as I like them. I’m banal and typical enough for it to be all about the thrill of the chase, the predatory instinct. I expect this aligns well with those who like to watch.
And what is a better prey than someone that others literally can’t sustain seeing? It was like my ideal woman just dropped down on angel wings from heaven into my lap – or onto my film, in her own strange way. I had a crush instantly. How could I not? And feeling this, and the incipient wonder of the highly strange, of course I had to get involved, personally, in the story. Of course.
(c) Helen M Valentina 2015, All Rights Reserved