May 28, 2006
Schuyler loves monsters, and she loves dinosaurs. Godzilla is both. She was in a state of absolute joy.
The funny thing about this movie was that it was a fairly recent one, from 2001, but it took me a while to realize that. I mean, 2001 was just a few years ago; Peter Jackson's amazing effects for The Lord of the Rings were already in theaters, and yet Japanese Godzilla movies looked as cheap and crappy as ever. Some of the effects were passable, such as his atomic halitosis, but by and large it was still a guy in a big fat rubber suit, stomping around a tiny Japanese city like the Grimace. His face looked a little better, not so much like the Cookie Monster as past incarnations, but not much. I was actually charmed at how the Japanese must have a sort of fondness for bad Godzilla effects. Clearly, they could make a better looking monster, and choose not to.
Anyway, he was good enough for Schuyler. When Julie got home from work, Schuyler told her she saw a dinosaur on her device and then "raar"-ed around the apartment for the rest of the evening.
This is pretty representative of the kind of weekend Schuyler and I had together while Julie worked. I've talked about it before, but we have a vibe together that's unique to the time we're alone. When anyone else is around, Schuyler deals with the usual six year-old complicated social dynamics. But in our own ways we are broken, she and I, and so we give each other a break.
One thing I've never mentioned here, at least that I don't recall, is that Schuyler sleeps like the dead. At an early age, she started sleeping regular hours, and she goes to bed willingly, with a laugh, a story or two and a big sloppy kiss. Once she's out, that's it. She won't wake up until she's ready. If I get a late night phone call and I don't want to disturb Julie (who is a very light sleeper), I will actually take the call in Schuyler's room, while she sleeps. She never so much as stirs.
With this in mind, and the fact that I do my best writing when there aren't any distractions and haven't been getting all that much in the way of quality time with the book, we are considering getting Schuyler some kind of loft bed and putting a little writing desk underneath it for me. We'd share the space, and I'd spend late nights writing her book while she slept above me. It seems to make a perfect kind of sense.
I wonder sometimes if she and I would be as close as we are, as weirdly in sync, if it weren't for her monster. If she were a normal child, if I didn't have to listen and watch so closely and so patiently to understand what she was saying, would I love her as deeply as I do? Would she love me with the same energy, with the same constancy, if she didn't have to work so hard to build her own world and share it with me? I don't know. A broken, beautiful, silent Schuyler is the only one I've ever known. I wouldn't know what to do with any other kind, and so I love her with everything I am.
Schuyler loves monsters, something I suppose she got from me. Unlike myself, however, she doesn't seem to mind her own monster too much.
It's too bad she's already in bed. Kung Fu Hustle is on, and she'd love the beautiful mute girl. That, and all the fancy ass kicking. She is my pretty ninja, after all.