5 December 2011

Why can't I be you?

Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.

— Maurice Sendak

I wonder whether young Jim was Catholic. It seems a peculiarly religious thing to do. I hope he was an older kid, performing the ritual deliberately, and not a toddler. Maurice doesn't say.

Reading this, I was reminded - in the undisciplined way such thoughts often are - of one of my favourite Cure songs: Why Can't I Be You?

Robert Smith can barely express what he feels for his beloved, a longing so intense that notions of possession or even just intimacy are exceeded until nothing short of complete identification - the total abrogation of physical and psychic barriers - will do.
You're so gorgeous, I'll do anything!
I'll kiss you from your feet to where your head begins
You're so perfect, You're so right as rain
You make me, make me, make me
Make me hungry again

Everything you do is irresistible
Everything you do is simply kissable
Why can't i be you?

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