The Legion of Zelda

The heart is an easy metaphor, and easier container. They give you ? ? ?, and every time you get injured, part of a heart turns white, which is less a color than a field of emptiness. Nintendo’s original “The Legend of Zelda” (1986) sort of look over my life when I was in junior high. I remember finally beating, after an entire binge weekend, the main antagonist Ganon. If there is such a thing as an orgasm that stays inside your body, then I kept mine for a while, covered in sweat, until I calmly walked down the stairs zombie-like and said these words to my mother: “I just beat Ganon.” What is that, she said, and I looked at her with condescending eyes. “Forget it, you don’t understand what just happened to me,” I said.

Dude’s name is Link; Zelda is the eponymous princess whose entire narrative capacity is her absence. The player’s omniscient third-person/bird’s eye POV of his phallic extension, Link, must traverse the cruel known world of Lost Woods, Kakariko Village, Death Mountain and Lake Hylia, exposing eight dungeonous underworlds, until, upon killing Ganon, he rescues Zelda. There is a point at every guy’s life where he either stops playing video games, or continues. In his advanced biological maturity, the games become more complex, more realistic, and more violent. There are fully grown men, fathers, who would like nothing more than the complete solace from their jobs and wives and children to play these games. One may trace this, anthropologically, to the need for conquest, the visual stimuli of the hunt via the bright flashing lights of an enemy’s territorial gain.

Dude’s name is Scott, and he is buried underneath a large rectangular rock on which the last sentence of his most famous novel is inscribed. He married Zelda Sayre, a writer, painter, dancer — overall artsyly ebullient woman — and diagnosed schizophrenic. Fitzgerald actually plagiarized lines from her journals and attributed them to fictional characters in his novels, but we all know fiction is not fiction, and non-fiction is not non. Life happens, then there are words. That is it. After seeing Midnight in Paris (2011) my mom asked me to Google image all the invoked parties (G. Stein, E. Hemingway, S. Dali, T.S. Eliot, etc.) for real photos. When I got to the Fitzgeralds, she said “oh I know about her, she’s crazy and he had to write bad books to pay for her hospital bills.” My mom is not a feminist.

Nintendo producer Shigero Miyamoto (also responsible for Mario Bros.) created Princess Zelda after Sayre. That Zelda and almost all of Nintendo’s franchises depict Aryan characters may be seen as more than an extension of Western commerce and marketing, but a pathology of ethnic shame. A bunch of Japanese men designing intricate “white” worlds seems just as discordant and playfully absurd as a white basketball coach and/or gangbang subject surrounded by a circle of black semi-panting men.

It is sad that Zelda has been culturally reduced to a wide-eyed blond Manga character, or the ideas my mother has about her; yet, in reading about her — the “open” relationships, blurry boundaries, constant drama, artistic erraticness — I can’t help but imagine, I dunno, a kind of annoying manic slut who drove a dude fucking crazy because she was hot. Yes, Scotty was drunk and probably either enabled or incited it; and yes, if one’s love is shallow then the object of such pursuit is in itself the punishment, lessons all derived from Fitzgerald’s thin veil of characters. Sayre’s Save me the Waltz (1932) and Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night (1934) recount two perspectives of a marriage — implicitly theirs — going foul. That our man published it two years after the fact may be seen as retaliation, or just a mind weighed down with booze.

I would have preferred to be hanging out with girls, acclimating to the whirlpool of emotions which turn a hot tub into a toilet bowl. It was summer. I was bored. I needed someone to move through labyrinths towards, and if she were just a concept that was okay. My fingers found buttons and their respective bodily correlations in Link, venturing through lands only understood by a map. Ganon’s lair should have included a pixelated bed, for I would have used it with Zelda. So young, I had no idea about the loneliness of men. I was to find other concepts — however manifest inside or around the cardiovascular attack of a female body — in 7th or 8th grade, through high school, into college, and ever since then, concepts which never quite made it in real life, as such concepts were held in two bulbous tear-drop sacks suspended from collar bones, which is a complicated way of saying tits. To the painful legion of beautiful women, every one of you is a  pit by which my empty ? is still measured. Shallow love convinces itself it is deep, as every cornea is gifted with the sack of a quivering eye. It is sad that we need a thing called feminism, but we do, because of guys like me. I never asked myself what exactly I would do once I “won” these pretty girls. I guess I’d try to come inside them, then tell my mother about it. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

image – witness 1

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