Who is your hero? Why? My nickname has always been Peter Pan because of my youthful aura. Appearance. It should be Edward Scissorhands. That nickname is accurate for so many people in this world. I’d like to say the majority, but, it’s the minority.
I don’t think I’m alone at all in feeling like Edward Scissorhands at times. Most times. All the time. Why Edward, though? He isn’t a hero, after all.
All I want to do is touch people because I love them or care for them. Yet, when I touch them, all I can do is slice them up. Like Edward, yes? Damage is visible. I did it. It’s amazingly sad for me to watch Edward endure this pain. In the end, we bruise + feel pain as well. Imagine. Craving to love other people, and knowing that with every loving touch, you are cutting them.
Edward wasn’t designed properly. It wasn’t his doing. He didn’t realize or comprehend the events that transpired with his Creator. It was all out of young, innocent earnest. Edward wasn’t given the opportunity to have the design of excellence. Not excellence as some of us, on the collective, might define it. Certainly not the definition of excellence the townspeople subscribed to.
I know that life is not fair. I know that no one owes anyone anything. Tangible or intangible. I understand these basic principles. I know many more, their etymology, etc. I’m not ignorant of this. People tout me with these overused + regurgitated ways of justifying evil behavior. I have a visceral reaction. I want to scream + smash my head into a million pieces.
When I’ve found that I can’t put myself back together, I’d like to say, “Thank you. Because, I hadn’t thought of that, already. Morons.”
Try telling Edward Scissorhands that no one owed him their headspace. Tell him the people of the town didn't understand empathy + tolerance. Tell him people enjoyed the feeling of hating him. The mere feeling of hatred! They relished it. Some of them achieved orgasm through the feeling of hatred. This was a sport in the town; to scrutinize Edward as a pariah.
Let’s set Edward up. Let’s put him in a weak position where we know he will lose. We can all enjoy hating him for making a mistake he didn’t even know he was making. Let’s fuck, to the rhythm of his pain. Let us revel, in hating him for wanting to love people.
Let’s all throw an infant in a pool. We can laugh. The infant cannot swim and it will drown. This isn’t too far from the human behavior I witness every day. A la, gas lighting.
After all, love doesn’t exist. Right? That school of thought also fits into the myriad of basic principles. Edward doesn’t know that. Since we had to learn it the hard way, why would we want someone else to avoid that pain? No. Let’s re-inflict. Let’s repurpose that pain into hatred and lay it upon Edward.
Let’s continue the evil chain + cycle that we call “normal”. Let us then be hard-pressed to find people who question the presence of evil in this world.
All Edward wanted was to love + make others happy. He was youthful + hopeful in that sense, despite his obvious handicap. Yes, Edward was discernibly handicapped. He was socially awkward, mute + invisible. There was a charm to him, though. He inhabited this youthful folly that is frustrating to watch.
I want him to be fit for the real world he’s entered. I want him to have all the tools in his box that he’ll need to fend off the people who will inevitably destroy him.
You see, Edward came from a different world altogether. He was excited to acclimate to this new way of living + follow a new set of rules. It was brave of him. Approaching this new world. Had I been able to warn him to never leave his world, I would have. And that, right there; the mere struggle of knowing + not being able to change it. That is where the pain lives. For me, too.
Things did not end well for Edward. One person understood him. One. But, to be direct, I’m surprised he even gained one person in that town who knew how to empathize. How to feel what he was feeling. Not to fake it, but to adopt it. Not to pull from their own experiences, but to adapt to his experience, free of prejudice.
This one person; she was the only person in the town who embodied true empathy. I imagine what that isolation must’ve felt like for her. How lonely it must’ve been for her as well in life. To live among such rudimentary people. To be spoken at all day, rather than, spoken to. Knowing deep down how everyone felt.
Without this girl in the story, Edward’s inevitable demise would’ve commenced much sooner. You see, she herself possessed this same youthful innocence. Hers hid beneath layers + years + stacks of societal conditioning. Her access to it allowed a similar perception of vision as Edward Scissorhands.
To see the world with possibility. Neither good nor bad, mind you. Simply, open. Like a child. To dream. Most of the people who I observe have forgotten that they even had dreams, to begin with! It’s that tragic, in real life.
The consummation of this story is not one of happiness. Not happiness, as we define it. The hero doesn’t win in real life. Remember? Edward, after all, was no hero. He was emotional + tormented by his paradoxical ways of expressing love. He was not a hero of any sorts.
There are villains in this story, yet. Villains: everyone but Edward Scissorhands + his female confidante. This new world Edward entered into was a world of villains + rogues. That is the real plot twist of this whole story. It went over the heads of most everyone.
What should we say of regret? Should Edward regret the abandon of his safe palace in search of a community? In search of love? I do not know the answer, and that is why I asked. What is to say of regret in this story? This mind-fuck is woven into the fibers of the storyline from beginning to end.
The story of Edward Scissorhands is a fable. It’s a self-reflection. A mirror. So, I ask you, what would your life be like if you had scissors for hands? How much is your love worth? Hmm? How much is each of your fingers worth? You can’t attach a number to these things, but you can attach pain imagined from their absence.
Take that pain, multiply it by 100. Only then will one be in the neighborhood of understanding. Understanding what Edward accepted as commonplace, every day. With a smile. With hope. Retaining his youthful view of the world.
Can we say the same for ourselves? Can we love the beautiful + ugly parts of us? The deepest, darkest, sickest parts? There’s a propensity and an inevitability, for people to lack the tools needed to practice empathy. In turn, it’s okay to hurt people when we say it’s okay. It’s open season, all us going in at it any way we see fit.
Should we have our bluff called out or made to face up to our faults, we’ve invented the “block button”. We are a society of ghosters; ghosts. Running away from owning up to our mistakes has never been easier. Being a coward has never been simpler. We are more robot than human, and Edward was more human than us.
While Edward is no hero, he is braver than any of us. He has more courage than we’ll ever know, or ever care to know. Because, as the people of the town who destroyed him did, most of us will bury our heads in the sand. It’s those who withstand the storm who have the real glory.
To stand life in the face of what it is. To be a magician of our ability to create space for tolerance + love in a world void of producing it, naturally... That’s a hero.
Who is your hero? Why? -Adam Cerny xoxo @AdamCerny #AdamCerny