I sit down, practically bristling with excitement. The bowl of ramen in front of me is ready to be consumed, hot steam rising visibly slowly, before embering into nothingness.

I had been downloading some episodes of the X Men cartoon of the mid 90s as of late. Tonight, the download for the 'Night of the Sentinels' episode was finally complete. This episode, out of all the episodes, struck my chord the hardest. Here, the X Men were assaulting a government building where records of registered mutants were being kept. While making their getaway, one of the team members, Morph, was struck by one of the mutant-hunting Sentinels. Wolverine, feeling a sense of loyalty and togetherness, goes back in desperation to help him. Cyclops, however, had other ideas, blasting Wolverine senseless with his laser optic powers. He knows that had Wolverine had his way, they would have lost both Morph and Wolverine.

This was the one episode that struck me because I credit it as the first time that I came across adult material (no, not of that kind). When I say adult, I mean the portrayal of adult-like emotions, like jealousy, rage, disappointment, frustration, and bitterness, to name but a few. At that point in my life (perhaps around 10 years old), I had been fed a steady stream of cartoons like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers, Doraemon and Japanese serials like Ultraman, Gaban, Black Masked Rider and Cybercop (I remember trying to make the big Cybercop gun out of shoeboxes! :>). Enjoyable, mind you, but they miss the mark somewhat.

X Men marks the spot, so to speak. Watching it, I feel like there's something there that's beyond mere entertainment, that it addresses issues worth considering (and issues that would become every more prevalent in later life, like discrimination, and love). I saw how Wolverine reacts to the love between Jean Grey and Cyclops. I felt sad at how Rogue has arguably the greatest powers of all the mutants (because technically she can absorb anyone's power), but yearns for something as simple as the human touch.

And I admire the fierce loyalty that Wolverine displayed for Morph in trying to go back for him (and the extreme dislike for that sissy boy Cyclops for ruining all that).

So I sat down, and watched the episode. They break into the facility, they go back out, they get attacked by the Sentinels, Morph gets hit, falls unconscious, Wolverine wants to go back, Cyclops says no, he starts off anyway, Rogue takes off her gloves and absorbs Wolverine's energy so much he gets knocked out, the team boards the Blackbird...


Hang on. This isn't what happened.

Where was the bit where Cyclops shot Wolverine? The one moment that had been bored into my mind for over a decade? Where was that moment when Cyclops, not Wolverine, betrayed Morph?

I waited for the whole scene to pan out. I waited, with increasing agitation, for that moment to pop up again. It's got to be here somewhere...

But it isn't. And it wasn't.

I felt very uncomfortable. I slowly realised that maybe one of the most important scenes I had deified, a most affective scene that had a big impact on me...

...never existed in the first place.


KL said…
First of all, please let us know how can anyone make a gun out of a shoebox!!!!!!!!???? :-D.

Huh! I guess, you had some definite pattern of what is good, bad, ugly, beautiful, who were your favorite characters and who were not and then based on all those, you created images/stories in your mind which were not true.

It happens to many of us. It happens to me a lot regarding people, places, characters, countries, cultures and then when something others I experience, I feel really bad and sad or at a lost!!??
Fikri said…
Yeah, I accept that it does happen. It's just that it's something I didn't expect to happen for something that so important to me, that's all. Not doubt or anything like that...irrefutable evidence.

That's a little bit different.

And a little scary.
lee wei said…
memory is indeed slippery.

I find it particularly scary that I can only remember the first few years of my life vaguely. It's a black hole for me.

Whenever I think about it, it gets a little scary. Like as if I was someone else for those "missing" years.
Fikri said…
Yeah, it is slippery. And there are moments when I feel a bit like you did. But this particular occasion, I was especially disturbed because it was something that I thought I had remembered so well, and had been conclusively proven wrong.

For something like early years, if I had vague memories of it to begin with, and there's nothing conclusive to prove me wrong (if I found a picture of me as a child with people who don't look like my parents, THAT would be interesting :>), then it's kinda OK, cos even though you're not sure that you're completely right, you know that you can't be completely, totally, utterly wrong.

Err...does that make sense? :>