Kari Maaren

What About Me?

This song has emerged from my slight obsession with the characters in various works of fiction who eventually become inconvenient to their authors.  Either these authors just quietly forget about the characters or, even more frustratingly, they change their personalities in order to more conveniently shunt them aside.  Ernest Frankenstein, Susan Penvensie, Faramir, Eowyn:  this one's for you.


What About Me?
Ernest Frankenstein
Is sitting in the ruins of his family,
Wondering what happened.
Two dead brothers, two dead parents,
Foster-sister murdered on her wedding night
By some sort of monster.
Should he become a soldier and fight off the pain?
Should he fear he'll follow Victor and end up insane?
Too bad Mary Shelley never mentions him again.
Ernest Frankenstein,
Sitting in the ruins, says:

What about me?
Am I dead or just forgotten?
Didn't you think
How callous it would be
To give me life, then leave me to
My own devices.  Strange that you
Should do the very thing that you made Victor do.
I'm baffled you can't see.
What about me?

Ernest goes to a
Support group, where he meets a young lady named
Susan Pevensie.
Siblings, parents, cousin, friends, all
Killed in the same train crash.  Only Susan left
To pick up the pieces.
Once a queen in Narnia, she has a certain poise,
At least until her author turns on her and destroys
Her future happiness because she likes lipstick and boys.
Susan turns to Ernest
At coffee after group and says:

What about me?
Why am I the one forgotten?
Didn't he think
How traumatised I'd be?
Narnia was pain and dread.
I liked modern life instead.
Now every single person that I know is dead.
I've got PTSD.
What about me?

Susan and Ernest go to brunch
With Faramir and Eowyn.
They don't have much in common, but they know
They are somehow akin.
Forget the pain, the loss, despair,
Rejection, sacrifice: just pair
Them off; it doesn't matter where
They want to be;
They say, "What about me?"

Ernest Frankenstein
Is lurking on the forum of a fanfic site.
He claims it gives him closure.
Susan says she'd rather just get
Counselling and maybe write some fantasy
Or paranormal romance.
Every now and then, they'll pass each other on the street,
Smile and make some small talk, then awkwardly retreat,
Knowing any story they're in is doomed to defeat.
Open-ended, each,
Just mutters into silence:

What about me?
Am I meant to be forgotten?
Why don't they think
How hard it's got to be?
It must be comforting to spend
A whole entire book pretend-
-Ing I don't really matter at all in the end.
But I wish you'd agree:
What about me?

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Content copyright Kari Maaren 2013
Images copyright Kari Maaren, Phil Mills, Erik Mohr, and Karl Stahl 2013