Odd train of thought.
I’m going to share a somewhat nutty train of thought.
I was jotting down ideas for stories and letting my mind ramble before doing some editing, and I found myself thinking about Freddie Krueger. Now, I haven’t watched all the movies, and the ones I have watched I don’t recall fully.
I was wondering what would happen if Freddie met, in dreams, someone who had no fears or guilt. Not someone brave or noble, not someone innocent, but someone who had truly looked at all the demons inside, spat them up, and ate them. Someone at peace. Could there be a person like that, and if so, could you make a story about it? Or would it be meaningless?
From there I started thinking about horror. How do you deal with perfection from a horror-story perspective? Aha. Vampires cannot face crosses: a symbol of horror and a symbol of perfection.
Back to Freddie. If Freddie drew back and hissed away from a “perfect” character, that would suck. A “perfect” character would have no conflicts, wouldn’t really be a part of the story.
Next tangent. What would the dreams of a perfect person be like? They’d probably never have nightmares. It must be night after night of bliss, or night after night of adventures in which nobody ever suffers anything horrible.
Next tangent. One of the characters in Sandman, Barbie, has night after night of harmless adventures for most of her life, but it doesn’t make her a perfect person; contrariwise, it allows her to remain shallow and unable to cope with the more painful aspect of her life. It isn’t until she has a terrible nightmare and then stops dreaming that she starts to face her problems.
Next tangent. A continuous diet of dreams without nightmares must be terrible. Imagine if you never woke in a sweat, never were relieved when you woke up. There have been quite a few points in my life where having nightmares–and learning how to conquer them–has made a big difference.
Next tangent. One of the things that Carlos Castaneda talks about in his books is the power you derive from learning how to control your dreams. I thought the idea was fascinating for a time years ago, but abandoned it because it’s a little sad: if you have control over your dreams, what’s to make you face up to your nightmares? What’s to make you learn the things you don’t want to learn? With that kind of power over yourself, what’s to keep you from turning into something horrible?
Next tangent. One of the things that Zen Buddhists say is “Kill the Buddha.” What if, in this context, you read nightmares as the Buddha? “Kill the Buddha.” Does that mean destroy the things you use to teach yourself what you wouldn’t otherwise learn? Destroy your nightmares?
So. Being a writer, I think, “What if some guy went out there to learn the truth about everything and went slightly awry, so now he has this huge amount of power, is englightened on top of that (because you can be enlightenend without meaning anything good for anybody else) and therefore has this key into other people’s psyches, and has nothing to keep him in check?”
Wait. That sounds like Freddie Krueger. My theory is that he’s some kind of dark Buddha, having killed his own conscience in an effort in order to better control it, and now he’s going through this mockery of “enlightening” others because some kinds of understanding are like a virus, but that’s another tangent.