Last Night at around 8:20 PM EST, I had the severe misfortune of finally getting the results of my Music Education Major Audition - Negative. Since then, I've been in a state of anger and disappointment because I'm not in my right mind, and I don't mean anything I say, but I'm just upset with myself. So, looking for something to blame all this on, Pirates was on TV and I couldn't beleive how much of it seemed lost to me. Basically, a little rant on my part about how I need to stop letting this movie rule over my life, but Jack and the others would object, as they always do in my life... Of course Pirates are not to blame for this. Just something that came to mind earlier. Hope you enjoy this and take something from it!!
. . x x x . .
FANFICTION RUINED MY LIFE
It's so funny how you can feel yourself grow up, become an adult, and loose all innocence in the wake of a few words printed on a sheet of paper.
'We regret to inform you that your performance audition for the music department was inadequate…'
It was with those words that it happened to me. I felt anguish take me over as my parents quietly handed me the opened envelope and avoided my eyes, but reading the words was what did it. For my first whole semester in college, I had done nothing but prepared my music for an audition that would open up the world of being a Music Education major to me, and it proved in vain. I mean, I don't have a superb singing voice, and yes, I have self-confidence issues, but I think I can blame my will to just expect a lucky break or extraordinary thing to happen to me day in and day out.
I have expected to be whisked off my feet into an outlandish 'adventure' thanks to my favorite role model of over three years – Captain Jack Sparrow.
That movie honestly shaped who I am today. I associate Pirates with everything, try to tie them to everything, surround myself with Pirates everything… and with it came the will to imagine something so much stronger. The urge came to elongate everything and imagine myself off on adventures in this land dreamed up by a group of ingenious writers. I put my own exciting adventures of swashbuckling with friends and pirates to paper and became a fanfiction writer. That I am until this very day when I received this letter.
And it is this I blame my failure on. Well, it is really myself of course. I indulged in writing down these fantasies so that they could be all the more real, so I could revisit my utopia I dizzily daydreamed about constantly, and I followed my own endeavor too far. I am still stuck in a world of harsh and unforgiving reality no matter what words I put on the paper to change it, and those are the facts. My obsession with a mere movie as rendered me totally unprepared and protected me from a world I believed I could avoid until I was ready o face it, and then I would cope with it bravely and exactly, just as I would when sword fighting side-by-side with Jack, Will, Elizabeth, and my best friends in my stories. But no, sadly; reality kicked my fanfictitious ass from behind, and I wasn't brave or ready or exact – I was devastated.
I know what I have to do now. I mean, it's obvious I don't have a life-threatening ailment that could take me out soon and spare me. I have future ahead of me regardless, and the thing I wanted most to do with it is now no longer an option. No more music theory, class voice, chorus, pianos… I can't cope without them! I want to keep doing it because it is what I love most! Still, I have always been rather good at English, and seeing as I have been writing fanfiction three and a half years now, since the fateful Saturday night March 22, 2003 that I first watched Jack team up with Will, save Elizabeth, get stabbed by Barbossa (I still openly gasp at that part), and triumph with the return of his ship. Yes, English is an option, but I'd want to write screenplays, not teach eternally!
So, theater would be my other option. I have been so involved with my high school musicals and plays that my school year revolved around it. I was Head Student Stage Manager of my senior high school musical, so production might be a choice I could go with. I'm still not far from my music, and I might even get to write some scripts, seeing as it's theater and all. That would be nice. But still, not as fulfilling as hearing a choir sing a heavenly unexpected chord in a song. I will miss that most of all.
What's done is done they say, and I know there is no changing the way that Captain Jack Sparrow grabbed hold of me when I was a young fifteen and dominated everything in my adolescent years beyond clothing, merchandise, and the cardboard cutout of Jack that stands at the foot of my bed to protect me in my sleep. Pirates became my obsession and me life, and it was only a clever movie with pretty faces! Fiction! Not real! Yet on my paper and in my head it was all real, and that reality mixed with mine and interfered so much that I am now a miserable mess, praying for something even more unfortunate to happen to me so I can turn my attention to it instead of this mess.
These feelings actually surfaced about an hour after I read the letter. I was sitting in the living room with my mom silently as she flicked through channels, and Pirates was on USA. Pirates makes everything better in my book, but for some reason, as I sat and watched this movie after being burned out of three straight weeks at college and reading my letter of rejection, it wasn't doing it for me. Jack's swagger just made me dizzy, the sword fighting was two dimensional, and the film looked old. So old. I couldn't place it, but I can now. It's just not the same comfort and excitement as before, and it hits me like a tons of bricks at how blind I was to let a movie elicit me so. For God's sake! Huzzah, rum, Old English, and other phrases from the movie are incoorperated into my everyday vocabulary! I've listened to the soundtracks endlessly, and even as I write this rant, I'm listening to 'Jack Sparrow' simply because I can't get over my own thoughts…
Thoughts that I need to leave this behind me and grow up.
In the back of my head, I can hear Peter Pan saying from a distant childhood memory, 'Grow up? Why would you want to do that?'
Well, Peter, college isn't exactly Neverland, so it's happening. My obsession mat never leave me, but I have to stop writing these ridiculous fantasies and stop believing in them so much! Do you have any idea how big of an impact both that movie and that letter have had on me?! HUGE. But, the letter (the sharp stab of reality telling me to get my act together or be a failure for the rest of my life) is what's important. I have to be realistic now. Life is only about dreaming up adventures with pirates and friends oyu hardly recognize anymore to a certain extent. Priorities change. Fanfiction use to be number one, and now, selfishly, it's me. I have to look out for my future. God has decided I have one, so I have to make something of it, and I can't do it in a fantasy world. Sorry.
I look up over the edge of my laptop at Jack with a level face.
"Oh sure what?" I ask moodily.
"Tell them you're sorry," he says with a tone of disappointment and anger, sauntering over and leaning against my dresser. He uncorks his rum forcefully and downs a few large gulps. I roll my eyes.
"Yeah, you know, I'm sorry, Jack," I say testily, leaning back into my pile of pillows, "but I can't just keep going on these ramped… 'adventures' with you, everyone else, and their brother."
"Will doesn't have a brother…"
"I don't have a brother…"
"Psh, and how do I know that?" I ask , snapping my laptop shut and standing up. "We only found out in the last movie that your dad's alive and your mother's been reduced to a shrunken head… No mention of siblings, save in countless fanfiction stories…"
"Didn't you write about me having a sister once?" he asks curiously.
"Shut up!" I wheel around at him with big eyes. "It doesn't matter! You don't even exist! None of this Pirate shit exists!" I pick up my talking Cotton's Parrot that Lindsay got me for my birthday this passed year and threw it at him. He caught it less than gracefully as I shout, "Not Cotton's parrot!"
"Sure he does. Look!" The toy is suddenly a real macaw resting on Jack's forearm as I stand up on my bed and being to take the posters down.
"These pictures of you don't exist!"
"If they weren't real, could you rip them?" he asks uncertainly as the pieces of the glossy posters fall at his feet. Mr. Cotton's parrot screeches. I take the Dead Man's Chest Key and Cursed Aztec Medallion hanging next to the posters and throw them at him.
"Ow!" Then, Jack gets a better look at the medallion. His eyes go wide with fear. "Where did you get that?!"
I throw my stuffed monkey from the fourth grade trip to the science center at him as I jump off my bed.
"Not Jack the Monkey!"
Another screech. Jack strokes the monkey on his shoulder as it becomes real.
"I really beg to differ on that as well, darling…"
"Well you know what?!" I say, fuming at this point. I rip down my Dead Man's Chest calendar and tear it, throwing the pieces onto the pile of destroyed posters. Then, I reach under my bed for the three large plastic boxes of endless writing I have from the ideas I've hoarded away and dumb their contents of notebooks and papers into the pile, accumulating it significantly. My tiny stuffed Jack Sparrow from McDonald's that sits in my pencil can joins the pile in rage, and to top it off, the DVDs and their cases. I open my nightstand drawer angrily next, and then I catch sight of a bright green lighter and pull it out along with a stick of incense. As I stand there lighting it, Jack is quite unnerved.
"Building a pyre isn't the answer, luv."
"Oh shut up," I say impatiently. "It worked in 1408."
"This isn't just another movie-"
"UGGHHHH! I KNOW!!! IT'S AN OBSESSION THAT RUINED MY LIFE!!!"
"There's a lot missing from this pile," he points out. "Like the sheet music and the nine shirts, the costumes, the other poster, Tia Dalma's – or rather Calypso's – locket, the blanket, the pants, those two patches on your zip up sweatshirts, your school projects involving me…"
Jack the Monkey screeches again from Jack's shoulder. Cotton's parrot goes on about wind in the sails.
"Don't you worry," I say fiercely. "When I go back to my dorm on Sunday night, I'll invite all of myself to a special bonfire in the Square."
"Amazing how your lighter isn't working," he says, glancing at my hand. I look at it, seeing that all the lighter fluid is gone. Okay, now I'm totally pissed. Infuriated beyond belief, I throw the lighter and incense stick onto the pile causing Jack to jump a little.
"What's the incense for?"
"So I can't smell the horrible smell of imaginary flesh burning," I say before turning and whipping open my bedroom door to go out into the dark basement in search of matches. Jack looks taken aback at the comment, and I leave, very ready to get this done and over with no matter how much it may hurt. I can't keep letting an imaginary world rule over my free time and entire existence when I could've been practicing long and hard for my audition so I could be a music teacher!!!! RAAAAAA!!!!
However, after only a few steps on the carpet, it begins to feel thin under it totally vanishes and is replaced with old, wet, loose, moldy wooden boards. I stop walking and acquire a very level look of disgruntled anger seething beneath the surface of my skin. This is ridiculous, and to prove it to myself, I keep walking towards the door creaked open at the end of the hall. I hear the ocean but choose to no longer acknowledge it. I smell the salty air but think nothing of it. I hear shouts of familiar voices that played over and over on my television and in my head for years, but I just bite my tongue before I totally lose it. When I reach the door, I don't slow down; I march right through it, allowing it to slam off the wall as I stride onto the deck of the Black Pearl infuriated.
"Jack, stop it," I say, stopping directly in front of him as he pockets his telescope.
"Stop what?" he asks innocently sarcastic. "You're the one 'dreaming up' this bloody world, remember? You stop."
"You're being immature."
"And you're being unreasonable."
"I am not! I'm not giving into these stupid fantasies anymore so I can live a normal life and I'm unreasonable?!" He pulls out an apple and bites into it as I continue my rant. "Well guess what, Captain?! Even if I were being unreasonable, I'm allowed! Because my life just got totally screwed up, nothing is going my way, I am PMSing, and I will rip your face right out of my memory FOREVER!!!"
I snatch the apple from him and pitch it over the side of the ship as he looks at me blankly, trying to register what just happened.
"You tossed my fruit…"
"Listen," I say crossly, pointing at him, "It has to end now. I can't keep running off in my head everytime I'm faced with a problem I don't want to deal with because as proven, it'll get me nowhere in a future that is not just going to be handed to me! I can't write fanfiction for a living, Jack!"
"And why not?" he asks. "Oh, that's right: against copyright laws."
"Yes. So I'm leaving and that's it," I decide. "I am burying-"
"Burying?" His tone is sly. I shut my eyes impatiently.
"Burning? Why burn?" he asks humorously. "Burying is so typically pirate of you…"
"THAT'S WHY I'M NOT BURYING THEM, JACK!!!"
"Burying what?" the scruffy version of Norrington asks as he walks by. I feel my temper flare instantly as Jack whispers to him.
"She's giving up on us for good 'cause we aren't real and can't be her future."
Norrington gives Jack a confused expression, glancing at me as if I were demented. "Not real?"
"That's what I said..."
"Okay, guys, that's enough!" I shout. 'Do you have any idea how important it was for me to make that audition? Do you have any idea at all?!"
Norrington looked at the deck. "No…"
"Only if you write us to…" Jack says sheepishly.
"NO! You guys… STOP!!!"
I turn back around to head inside the Captain's Cabin when the doors fly open and Pintel and Ragetti stumble out. I give them a glare like none other, and they smile nervously as they move out of my way.
"It's NIGHTTIME, Ragetti!" I yell.
He and Pintel look up at the sun beating down on them. I feel a scream curling in my toes when I hear Pintel grumble to his counterpart, "But the sun is at high noon…"
Oh, I can't take it. I just can't take it! I'm not brave or stupid enough to kill myself, and I'm never going to be involved with music again, so-
The floorboards turn to stable carpet again, but this is not the thick brown carpet I am used to feeling beneath my toes in my basement. A sense of curiosity captures me a second as I slow to try and figure out what it is, but I recognize it in no time. My step picks up as I come to the top landing of the staircase in the Governor's Mansion. Below in the lobby I see Will, Governor Swann, and Lord Beckett watching me come down the stairs. I press my lips together firmly and storm over to them authoritatively.
"Gentlemen, the gig is up," I announce. "You won't be hearing from me anymore."
"Don't be a prude," Beckett says, stirring his tea slowly. I open my mouth to retort, but then my eyes narrow.
"You just called me a prude?"
"Yes, isn't that what you typed?" he says airily, glancing up at me over the rim of his tea cup. "You type it and we say it? Unless you have misinformed us of a change."
I cry out in frustration. "Not anymore!! God, what do I have to do to get through to you that this is it?! It was fun while it lasted, but it's not real to me anymore. Music was more important to me than anything, and I lost it because I was hanging out with the wrong people!"
"That's not too nice to say about Lindsay," Will says. "I thought she was your best friend?"
"NO!!! I meant YOU GUYS!!!"
"Oh, surely you don't mean it," Governor Swann chuckles with his arms folded neatly behind his back. I stare angrily at the feather on his hat having a strong urge to rip it to shreds any second.
"Yes, I'm afraid I do," I state rather calmly. "I just thought I should let my readers know before I jumped ship-"
I close my eyes at Jack's knowing leer (for he is suddenly in the room with us). I HAVE to stop using pirate lingo…
"Before I abandoned-"
A dangerous look as my hands turn in to fists at my sides. "My stories."
"Face it, luv," Jack says, parting Will and the Governor. "We aren't going anywhere. We're real because you made us this way-"
I hold up my hand. "Save it for when you're Mort Rainey," I say boredly. I turn to Beckett. He raises an eyebrow. "I just wanted to say that I regret not having written a story with the two of us in it," I tell him. "You're perfectly evil and it would've been great to have our names in the same conversation on paper."
"But you're not evil," he states blandly in all his Becketty goodness.
"I know," I shrug, "but I can be when I want to." I glare over at Jack. "Like now…"
Jack looks around uncomfortably.
Okay, really, this is enough.
I part Governor Swann and Beckett with my shoulder to head outside into the night air, bumping Beckett hard enough to spill hit hot tea all over himself. He shrieks loudly as I go outside, finding myself on a bridge. Again, a recognizable bridge. I sigh and look over the rail, and as if on cue, Elizabeth and Barbossa are rowing towards me in a small Chinese watercraft what's name escapes me. Elizabeth smiles up at me from under that giant hat as she rows with the long rod. I shake my head at them.
"Not writing anymore. Sorry."
Her face contorts along with Barbossa's as the pass under the bridge.
I go over to the other side of the bridge and shrug again.
"Sorry. Deal with it."
As I turn around, I come face to face with Tia Dalma who does not look happy either. I just sigh. Yet again.
"You are a coward," she says with a stone face.
"Yeah, I get that," I say sarcastically. "I'm usually a coward because I choose to ignore my real life and dwell in this place with you people, but that's ending. I'm not going to be a coward anymore because I'm leaving for good. See how easily it's remedied?"
"Running from your destiny is not the answer."
"But severing all ties with this stupid obsession so that I ccan work out what to do with what's left of my life is the answer," I explain to her short and simply.
"Well it's good enough for me!" I shout, moving passed her on the bridge towards the rows of Chinese shops. I walk along side them idly, still thinking about how immaturely foolish I have been wasting my time obsessing over something as stupid as a movie while all of my other peers had actually hobbies that helped their future careers… what the hell does Pirates do me any good when it comes to musicality?!
"Are you done ranting and raving yet?" Jack asks me from one of the stands. I keep walking, staring at the ground.
"Yes," I answered monotone. "I've made it quite clear that I'm through with you lot."
Shadows fall over the dirt path, and I look up as a coconut comes hurtling down from a palm tree. I stare at the palm trees with so much anger sinking in my-
I look over at Jack. "Weighing, then."
"Weighing what? Anchor?"
"Would you cut it out?! Some words from three hundred years ago are still used today, and it's mostly because of you and this movie bringing them back to spoil the minds of our youth… I'm a prime example."
"Well then fine," Jack says. "Before you go, you should have a go at writing one last regalement, aye?"
"No. No more," I reply in exhaustion as we go out to the beach. I sit down in the sand miserably, and Jack sits down beside me. The Flying Dutchman is anchored offshore, and I stare at it with pure hatred. I hear shouting coming from it and hold out my hand to Jack.
He hands it over, and I look out at the ship. Davy Jones and Bootstrap Bill are giving me incredulous looks of anger like they want to beat me, quarter me, and keelhaul me. I lower the spyglass.
"SORRY!!" I bellow with a smile. "NO MORE!!"
Jack looks over at me after taking a swig of rum. "Alright so before you leave us 'forever,' if I may use the term loosely…"
"You can't," I quickly assure him with a nod. "Don't use it loosely."
He lifts his eyebrows as he looks away. "Okaaay… Well, before you leave then, are you going to miss us?"
I look out at the sunset with a pained expression. "Jack, of course I'm going to miss you. It's not like I'm never going to sit down and watch the movies again…"
"I believe they're in a pyre in the middle of your bedroom-"
"It's NOT," I say loudly to override his comment, "like I'm totally cutting myself off. I just need to stop spending so much time here and be a little more serious about my life and what I'm doing with it. You've all be a part of it for almost four years, and you will be forever," I tell him. "I just have to get organized and repriortize for a while."
"So you might come back?" he said hopefully.
I look back and scale my anger. Was I going ov-
I look over at Jack, nostrils flared at his – yet again – knowing smile. I can't stay made at him. But I have to for now. Have to.
No, it's not working.
I nudge him in the arm as a smile cracks through and I look away. Jack laughs triumphantly.
"Ha HA! See? I am real…"
"Yes," I admit, "because you're such a part of me. Literally, I refer to the last three years of my life as my Golden Age of Pirates."
"Shouldn't is be Piracy?" he asks, confused.
"No," I say. "I've been pirating music longer than that. Haven't paid for one song on my iPod yet, including all of your soundtrack music. Third one is my favorite."
"Anything in the works as we speak?" Norrington asks as he sits down on the other side of me. I sigh out to the horizon.
"Yeaaah… I actually have one about oyu stuck in an elevator with someone, I've got Principles of Compromise-"
"I like that one," Jack interrupts with a snigger over at Norrington. "I get Lizzie."
Norrington makes a face at him. I continue talking. "I have one where I totally rewrite the whole triology where Will has a sister torn between the two of you-"
"Whoa! Who's she end up with?" Jack asks.
"I'll drink to that."
"But she constantly has a thing for James and struggles."
Jack spits out his drink.
"Let's see… I have the third Ronie and Val story in a notebook that needs written out even though the sequel wasn't as popular as the first, and I have this one with you and Elizabeth," – I nudge Norrington – "highlighting moments between you guys on each of her birthdays from the day you met until the events of the movie-"
"How's that coming?" Norrington asks.
"Almost done with the first one, but the others are planned out," I say, somewhat disappointed in myself. "I have another where these girls win a contest to be with the actors the night of the Dead Man's Chest premiere but it turns out to be you guys instead, I still have Unprecedented Youth to continue by popular demand and this one idea where you all work in an office and Norrington falls for his assistant-"
"Bloody hell woman, what are you doing all the writing about him for?" Jack asks.
"Does it matter?" I ask moodily. "I'm giving it up for a while. Don't be jealous because every other fanfic writer went on a Norrington tangent after he heroically died in the third movie…"
Norrington takes his turn smirking at Jack. I finally break the sound of the ocean on the beach with a pure laugh, throwing an arm over each of their shoulders.
"What would I do without you guys?" I say, closing my eyes as I lean my head on Norrington's shoulder.
"I guess you're about to find out since you're leaving us…" Jack says sarcastically.
"Forever…" Norrington adds.
"Not to use the term loosely…"
I lift my head up and open my eyes, and I start in place. My eyes grow a little wide as I look around my own empty bedroom, laptop slanted off my legs a little. The letter of reject, deepest spirit crushing, and negative self-worth values is over on the empty nightstand still. I sigh, looking up at my Jack cardboard cutout.
I have to this up for a while. Only a while. It's my worst enemy and best friend right now. I can't run and hide the pirate in me forever and I know it, but for now, I have to keep that part of me tucked away until I figure out my life and where it's going, whether it'd still be music, theater, or English.
I mean, you never know…
The Jack Sparrow Rap might be on stage one day.
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