Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Can Story = Gateway Drug?

Katie John was:

A. My Bike
B. A Book
C. My Hero
D. All of the above...

In Papercuts, of late, there is a post with reference to a certain type of story, in youth, as a "gateway drug." (Strange thought, that...muddies a term, certainly, in what seems to be an adverse fashion? Gateway drugs are bad, no? Stories are good, yes? Anyhow...) 

If you have to call it that, the story of Katie John was my first, then, as well as (see multiple choice) "D: all of the above." 

Here is how I felt about the story (please forgive overuse of "I" here, there is a reason): I adored Katie John. I wanted to be her. I wasn't her, but I named my bike after her. I can't remember what she looked like (pigtails?) or what she did (must've been brave), but I seem to remember the cover of the book (was it blue? or was that my bike?), and I read the whole thing--an accomplishment, in second grade--and she was, as they used to say, da bomb. It is a time of "I," being seven, isn't it? And if you are going to identify with something, in this "I" time, why not a brave girl, a resourceful girl with strength, a girl upon whom people can depend?

Yep, there was one thing that was certain: you could Depend on Katie John. And that's what I wanted, to be brave and resourceful and dependable. 

A girl can be strong, right? Just like a girl can dream, which I've mentioned once or twice. A girl can be a hero. Katie John was just that. Thank goodness. Back in the 60's, we needed our girl heroes. Now that I think of it, in 2008, we still do.

Now, about that gateway drug thing...