I need to commit a murder. Not an actual one, of course, but a metaphorical one.
You see, there is a Disney Princess living in my head. She has been there for as long as I can remember. I’m not sure which one she is, or if she is just a compilation of all the worst ones: passive, helpless yet optimistic, beautiful and fragile, golden or raven-haired, perfect lips and huge sparkling eyes, and waiting-for-a-prince. If I had my way she would be a combination of Belle (bookish and independent) and Mulan (tomboy and unconventional), but I’m afraid she is more like Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella. She lives her life waiting to be rescued.
She must die!
You may think me a bit harsh, but this broad is screwing up my life. I’m single and happy – most of the time. After some attempts as physical encounters in the past year that were unsatisfactory and boring, I have settled into a reluctant state of celibacy; accepting this temporary state the way one drives through a patch of thick fog on the highway: mindfully, carefully, and with lights on. Right now I am focusing on creating a new life exactly the way I want it to be. But here comes Cinder-Beauty, just when I am feeling content, insisting that I am incomplete until I meet the Prince.
And then I start looking for him. In the grocery store, at the New Year’s Eve party, even in fictitious places and dreams. I recently read a memoir by a man I deeply admire. I read right up until the point that he met his wife-to-be, then I lost interest in the book.
So I’m printing a collage of all the Disney gals, folding it neatly into an envelope, and transporting it to South America when I embark on my journey there. At the moment of sunset on my 49th birthday, I shall shred her into pieces and burn them (in a fire-safe bowl of course.) And I shall do this in front of Pablo Neruda’s house, Chascona (“woman with tousled hair”, which is a version of what my last and greatest ex-love used to call me.) I may even read a piece of Neruda’s poetry at this ceremony-for-one.
I think Cinder-Beauty, with her last dying gasp, will appreciate all the romantic irony.