Saturday, July 13, 2013

Why I Envy Amy Acker

I have a few television series that I own. I really love these series and all of them are sci-fi or fantasy (if that is the correct genre). I have some friends who also own some of them, some who wished they did, and some who find them all absurd. I love them. All. They have become my blankie. When I need comfort, a dose of the familiar, I pop in a DVD or click on a file, and I can relax and forget my troubles.

One of these series is Angel. Yes, the series about the moody vampire who once terrorized all of Europe, but now has become a dark avenger because gypsies restored his soul to ensure he lived in eternal torment for his crimes against humanity.  It's not my favorite of the bunch, but I do love it and what surprises me is the season I love the most is the final one. Its surprising because there were so many changes during this season. One character died (after half a season in a coma), another was transplanted from Buffy (I refuse to explain this), and we saw disturbing, but extremely intriguing personality changes in every single character.  One character was Fred Burkle, played by Amy Acker.  Fred was short for Winifred, and in season five, Fred died. Fred was this tiny, physics grad student who had been pulled into another dimension. In this other dimension humans were "cows" who did menial labor. Fred, the badass that she was, escaped from her captors and lived in the caves of this other place practically starving to death, but mostly surviving. In the final season of Angel, Fred is a kickass scientist at an evil law firm the Angel crew has inherited and are trying to use for good. As such, she encounters some evil that kills her. And even though it seemed impossible, Fred was really dead, all the way gone. But Amy Acker was not. Now she was Illyria, an even badder badass "Old One." A god(dess). Illyria was a couple shades of blue and wrapped in a maroon battle suit. Of course, she was disgusted with humanity and was bent on destroying us. Illyria was amazing as a god because she was unchanging - she was neither good nor evil; she was infinite and unapologetic. As a god in a human body, Illyria saw the truth, even the truth of her weakened state with crystal clarity. This means, that in all of her awesomeness, Illyria said some of the greatest lines I've heard on TV: "In my time, nightmares walked among us. Walked and danced, skewering victims in plan sight, laying their fears and worst desires out for everyone to see. This to make us laugh." And my very favorite: "Your opinion of me weighs less than sunlight."

Fred was badass, but Illyria was amazeballs! She was incredibly different from Fred, but just as Fred had to readjust to the world after her unfortunate time as a "cow", Illyria had to adjust to a world that humans ("Motes of dust. Mayflies who die so soon after they're born they might as well not live at all.") ruled, in a body that could not even contain all of her power and left her diminished. And still, Illyria remains one of the most powerful and fantastic characters I've ever seen!

I don't think I will ever stop watching that final season of Angel every once in awhile to hear Illyria's imperial and damning judgments of humanity coming from Winifred Burkle's now bluish body. And I'm envious of Amy Acker because she got to be both Fred and Illyria separately and simultaneously. Specifically Amy and not any other actor, because she got to be two masterfully written characters that were one. And, I think it's not just me. I think there are times when we all wish we could be two (or more) people. Two people that in some ways have nothing to do with each other, but at the core remain us - remain me.

I know that I am extremely blessed in this life, but there are definitely times when I wonder if this is "real" life. There are times when I'm astounded that (according to my religion), I won't get a do-over when this turn is finished.  I am on a particular path right now, and although I've encountered too many obstacles, I like where this path is going. It's a pretty decent path. But there are times when I wish I could drop everything, travel to some foreign country and just walk the streets photographing everything I see. Or drop everything and head somewhere suffering people could use my help. Sometimes I wish I'd gone to film school and now lived in L.A. making much better movies than are available right now. Hell, I'd love to be making cheesy horror movies that would never be recognized for any semblance of artistry. Sounds like a blast!

I wonder what it would be like to get married and have a few kids or to never get married, not have kids, and therefore have money. But creating a family may or may not be on my current path. That is yet to be seen. Whether it be different paths I could have taken, or the uncertainties that lie ahead, I can't help but wonder, providing the multiverse theory is correct, what the infinite number of ME is doing in the infinite universes in which I reside.  What lives am I living? It would be awesome to just get a taste of what a different life could be. And this isn't a grass is greener on the other side type of thing. I don't want to become a different me for all time, I'd just like to take a peak. Maybe slip into my different life like a new dress. And women rarely like to wear any one outfit too often.

This isn't to say that one day I won't just take off and do something completely different with my life. Maybe I will. Maybe when my bills are all paid, I'll quietly disappear and be some other version of me for awhile. Maybe the next time I vacation, I'll try on a new accent and history and see where that takes me. In the meantime, I will continue to read books, watch sci-fi/fantasy, and gaze out of windows watching people pass wondering what it would be like to know them, love them, hate them. In the meantime, I'll gaze out of windows wondering if any other MEs are gazing out of windows, or laying on yachts, or scaling mountains, or flying planes, or sleeping under bridges, or walking red carpets. In the meantime, I'll continue to follow this path that brings me joy and pain, confidence and uncertainty. I'll continue to follow this path that God and I chose together to see where He leads me and how far I can take me.

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