I’m not a hero. If life has taught me one very clear lesson it’s that I am most definitely not a hero. Certainly in terms of narrative I could never be a hero; heroes are the scary ones that come at you with their perfect teeth and smug happiness and you know they’re going to win despite everything. Even the role of protagonist never sits entirely comfortably with me. To be a narrator, a lead, necessitates being something of a blank canvas. Morally impeccable with only the blandest of character traits, you know, ones that pretty much anyone can identify with like being a bit awkward, or clumsy, or sleeping with your mother and taking your eyes out with pins… Sorry, lost my train of thought there.
I always see myself as much more of a supporting character. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t see this as a bad thing, it’s not that I don’t think I’m worthy of my own story. Rather, it’s the feeling that supporting characters actually get to be somebody, they’re given the freedom to have actual personalities and flaws and hopes that go beyond avenging a ransacked village or being yet another fucking chosen one. Think of the characters who are really compelling, the ones that have nuance and subtlety and inner conflict. I’ll list a few that leap to mind from popular franchises: Arya Stark; Han Solo, Severus Snape; Kara Thrace (Starbuck); Felice Landry. I don’t want to be the one saving the day from the dark overlord or on a quest for the great maguffin. Way too much drama. I’d much rather be me; be the cool one that comes out with devastating one liners and who you never entirely know you can count on in the big fight.
Of course there are some days where it doesn’t quite work like that. There are days when you think it’s all about you and you’ve isolated the reverse power coupling and you’re oh-so excited, only to realise you’re the fucking comic relief.
Fuck it; some days you turn around and realise you’re Hawk Eye!
Those days really fucking suck.
Photo Credit Michael Pollack.