Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Out damn spot, out I say

My five year-old daughter is really interested in blood. She has what comes across as a pretty macabre fascination with stories in which people get gashes, scrapes, shrapnel and lacerations of all varieties. Of course, if you'd seen her on the playground last week when Primo chipped his tooth and witnessed her screaming in horror at the sight of his blood, you'd understand that her obsession is a way of trying to work through a massive fear about lack of body integrity.

That's a lengthy way of me explaining and justifying why I was telling the kid about Lady Macbeth on the way to school last week. Every day, on the walk to school, she demands that I tell her a story. And its always a bloody story she wants. I've mined my memory for every story of injury I can recall from my own life, from the lives of my friends and enemies, from lives of people in fiction and non fiction and when those ran out, I made up a bunch of stories. But now, I'm on the prowl again for some good bloody material and ideally something of substantive literary value, too. So of course I thought of Macbeth. 

"Oh I've got a story with LOTS of blood in it!" I exclaimed, "Bloody daggers and bloody hands and ghosts and everything!"

And I told her the whole story, in Cliff's Notes version, excluding the suicide. I felt like that was a little too intense. The regicide, for some reason, I felt like was OK. I lingered with particular attention to detail on the indelible blood spot on Lady Macbeth's hands. I tried to explain how it wasn't really there and that's why she could never wash t off but I don't think Sec got that 100%.

Afterwards, Seconds said:

"When I grown up, I am NOT going to kill anyone."

"That's good," I said, "You shouldn't."

"Oh I won't," she said, "I don't want to get blood on my hands."