Come ride with me, Daryl
That was a cougar growl. Forget Carol and dead Beth or come out of the closet – I am here in Texas. We love bikers (except in Waco – avoid Waco, Daryl.) What a complex character Daryl is. Is he gay or straight or bisexual? Whatever – he is gorgeous. It took me a couple of series to really warm up to him especially since he had a horrible brother.
I can empathize how a brutal upbringing can influence how you turn out. Merle, his brother, took the brunt of the beatings to help protect Daryl. This love softened both of them. I didn’t have a brutal childhood but at times it was neglectful and poverty stricken. It made me stronger and yet vulnerable; compassionate but pragmatic. Daryl has all of those qualities and is brave, too.
Through the apocalypse, he is the one who becomes more introverted when stressed rather than breaking down as Rick has done. He is here and yet not here. Sometimes I feel like that – when life feels very stressful I want to retreat to a solo vacation or just on a walk. Having a motorcycle essentially makes you a solo traveler unless you have a chick on the back – and Daryl rarely does that. I can’t ride a motorcycle (spinal condition and neuropathy) but I love driving alone. There is such a sense of freedom on the open road, especially in the countryside. It is easier without walkers…
So when you decide what team you bat for, Daryl, come look me up…
I aspire to be Michonne. When she first appeared with her Walker minions, I was blown away. It took subsequent series for us to see that she was a normal loving mother in pre-apocalypse days. How smart she was to figure out that if you masked yourself in the smell of the undead then you could wander among them unnoticed. Her tragedy made her both fierce and traumatized. When I finally discovered that her trapped walkers were her boyfriend and his buddy I was shocked. Did she do it out of love or pragmatism, or both?
When she saved Andrea, her true character started to slip out. Every episode I love her more as we see her compassion for children and society. (I don’t think she could kill even bunny psychopaths…) When she killed the Governor’s undead child she did it both to free her and break his spirit. At first I wondered if she was in love with Andrea but I realized like many of us, it was the desire not to be alone. As expats or immigrants it can be very lonely out there and we grasp at friendships no matter how unsuitable they are.
I was taken aback at how quickly she adapted to Alexandria and ‘society’. She was always so suspicious of the Governor and Woodbury that I sensed that she was correct about Alexandria. She ‘knew’ that most of the inhabitants were safe, if deeply flawed, and that her group needed to settle somewhere or they were going to turn feral like the people with W on their foreheads. Once bad things started happening again she bounced back to support both the original group and the new innocents.
When I started writing this I wondered about whether I would have minions, too. When you love deeply, you really don’t want to let go even when they have changed completely. My mother-in-law has latter stage Alzheimer’s and she really is the walking dead. Fortunately she has no teeth in anymore so can’t bite us… That said, I think I love her even more than I ever did with her sweet, smiling Alzheimer’s demeanor. So, that’s my connection to Michonne – I love very deeply and loyally. I am pretty kick-ass at self-defense too. Our Catholic school taught us self-defense because of all the bomb threats we got during the IRA crisis. My husband was an expert in Karate and probably because I look petite and delicate, when we first married he wanted to make sure I could look after myself. He grabbed me by the throat and without any hesitation I kicked him in the testicles. He went down like a brick groaning, “No, that’s not how you do it, aaagh”. We have no children – I wonder why??? Apologies for the blurry photographs – I am still hungover from mead at the Renaissance festival. More hilarious posts to come.
My future minions?
Well, I think all we ‘Walking Dead’ fans know who I am today – Carol. She is one of my favorite characters. Worn down, beaten by her husband and then lost her daughter. Out of this tragedy comes a warrior: clever, brave, pragmatic and fearless. I live in a place exactly like Alexandria and for the most part look like the current persona of Carol. Charming, pleasant lady with a twinset. In a crisis I turn into the other Carol – we need to euthanize the poor little Lizzie who has starting killing bunnies. There is no room in this new world for the dangerous little psychopaths.
I lived through a war zone in Egypt and kept up the superficial Carol persona for the most part. When Hurricane Ike hit our street, I was the voice of reason. We had the generator which we shared with our cul-de-sac, entertained most evenings with as much booze and food as we could gather. Can you believe that police were guarding our supermarkets with guns – what were we going to do, steal all the sardines that were left? There was no ice, no fresh food and I had to speak to the manager about opening the alcohol aisle. I said, “If you don’t let us buy alcohol there really will be a riot”.
We had already experienced Hurricane Katrina and the chaos that ensued from the refugees from Louisiana. Most hotels had to be completely renovated after the guests left and some people just moved here permanently. We sit and enjoy Walking Dead but a natural catastrophe on the scale that recent hurricanes have been, show how quickly society has the capacity to fall apart. Many people in the Houston area had no power for up to 6 weeks – that’s a long time with no air-con, fridge or washing. You could see the blue tarpaulins on the roofs for up to 2 years.
I was in my element while we were all stuck in a crisis – it’s just day-to-day life that I struggle with. Much like Carol. So far, I haven’t yet had to euthanize any small psychopaths…