Disclaimer: V and Evey belong to Alan Moore, David Lloyd, and a host of other people richer than me. I'm just borrowing them.
Borrowed Material: The first quote is from Annie Proulx's short story, "Brokeback Mountain." The second quote is from Sean Farrell Moran's Patrick Pearse and the Politics of Redemption: The Mind of the Easter Rising, 1916.
What You Can't Fix
"I wish I knew how to quit you."
I found something new to add to my book today. I wonder if anyone else has ever kept a record of things they'd like to discuss with a dead loved one. I'm sure I'm not the first. But I'm also sure that no one else has loved the way I've loved, has felt loss the way I've felt it. I don't know why I keep this scrapbook of reminders—I choke every time I add something to it. It physically hurts me, lacerates my lungs when I run my eyes over everything I've collected so far. But then I guess that's why I keep it. It's funny in a way: he's the only one that can evoke anything other than judgment or justice from my lips these days and he's been dead two years now. Is it considered necrophilia if you're in love with a dead man?
"Without the slightest trace of irreverence but in all due humility and awe, we recognize that of us, as of mankind before Calvary, it may truly be said 'without the shedding of Blood there is no Redemption.'"
My pen trips over the word "Blood" and the first two letters look smashed into one. No matter, I'm the only one that will read it. I found the quote while sifting through one of the countless piles of books in the Shadow Gallery; it was from a psycho-political biography of Patrick Pearse. The story of this one man had drawn me in before I even realized the thoughts I was thinking weren't my own. He reminded me so much of V: a single man who believed in a dream of something better for his people and sacrificed everything to ignite the flames of passion and change within them. He knew exactly what would happen after the Easter Rising of 1916 in Dublin, knew he would be arrested and executed by firing squad. Yet that knowledge was what fueled him on, it was precisely what he wanted—a blood sacrifice, a clear path to Redemption for his people. The story was a far cry from the ones I had V read to me during my first stay here, but I suppose it's only a natural evolution. Political treatises and biographies interest me now—I moved beyond fairy tales the second that train left the station carrying his body. But the science of government, the studies of people who've failed or succeeded to change it, are things that can help me.
V left us with a fresh start, a second chance, but he also left us with a pile of rubble that needed to be built up into something new, something that helped encourage the vox populi and not subdue it. He was correct, like always, when he said it was my generation that would make right the wrongs of the past. I guess I just never really realized, never really appreciated, how many wrongs there were to right. My role seems comedic compared to his: the slow beauracracy required to create a new order was laughable when held against the swift and sure action required to destroying an old one. In a way I feel like I've failed him because what we're creating is not what he wanted—but anarchy is a great leap from dictatorship and we needed first to build the bridges along the way.
I think he would understand.
So that leaves me here, in my inherited home, clipping pictures and writings and copying quotes into what I'm sure is a very costly blank leather-bound book. In case my nightwishes and dreams ever solidify to a point where I can talk to them, maybe I'll be able to find out whether or not he admired people like Patrick Pearse. I'd also like to know what his favorite food and kind of tea were so I write that down in order not to forget. It's silly really, being in love with a dead man that I hardly know, but he shared with me his most precious gift—absolute freedom—and everything else he had besides. I never saw his face, never touched his skin, but I was in love with him then and still am. And I know that he would tell me the face behind the mask is not who he is because he is an idea and ideas don't have a face. But I fell in love with the man before I ever fell in love with the idea, and in the end all I'm left with is the one of the two that I can't put into words, can't laugh with or make love to. The world will always remember the idea, but I will always remember the man.
I'll need to buy some more rubber cement in the morning. I also want to read The Count of Monte Cristo for the seventeenth time—the movie always makes me yearn for the original story. Speaking of which…
"Find your own tree!"
I hear his voice echoing Edmund Dantes's as if I was watching it for the first time. He did care about the idea more than the girl, but that doesn't mean he didn't care about her at all. He loved her very much.
When I taste salt in my mouth I know it's time to go to bed. I always hate it when movies make me cry.
Author's Note: I think I'm going to make this into a multi-chapter story, but I'm not sure if the rest of it will be in the same point of view; I might switch it to third person or something. In any case, because this is my story, I'm going to commit an outright offense against Alan Moore: I'm bringing V back from the dead.