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They call me Mr Glass

When you get right down to it, an Archnemesis is a hell of a lot like a little brother.  Not that I have any siblings. (Anymore! [evil laugh goes here])  But then I don’t have an Archnemesis anymore either, so accept that I may be more qualified to speak on this than I might initially appear.  

After all, I come from a large family so I have some exposure to the "sibling" syndrome, where you suddenly go from master of your sandbox to "Can you keep an eye on Billy while we run out to the store?"  And don’t confuse this with any lack of faith in the capable malevolence of my younger kind, because what I’m talking about is purely that state where you’re both young but there’s a big age gap.  Which is how your plan to finish beating the stuffing out of your opponents in a computer game gives way to wearing a wicker hat and sipping imaginary tea with Barbie and your little cousin Alice.


Archnemesis = Partypooper

That’s the Archnemesis experience, right there, that sudden whipcrack stop to your headlong plunge as you discover that you have a leash.  You’d be doing something interesting and cool, but instead you have this unwanted *thing* that won’t leave you alone <s>and wants to play "Pretend."</s>.

You don’t need a sibling to see how thie metaphor applies broadly.  I’m sure this captures how Lex Luthor feels about Superman.  Or how the banks feel about governments.  Or teenagers feel about chores.  Inevitable, implacable, and omnipresent and so hard to defeat.

I suppose this semes like an awfully long monologue, circuitous and without a point, but I need you to understand this.  I need you to understand the kind of mental and emotional commitment that comes with having an Archnemesis.  It’s a deeply personal relationship; something profound and affecting, and quite independent of whatever words you might exchange.  People assume you hate your Archnemesis, just like they assume you love your wife, but whatever emotion you feel in either case doesn’t capture the whole of the relationship.  Because after that discovery phase, after the dating or the combat and after the honeymoon or the incarceration period, when all of that getting-to-know-you stuff is past, you find that your Archnemesis (or your wife, assuming that isn’t redundant) have come to eclipse the other priorities you had before you met.

The Price of Victory

But like the saying goes, be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.  In my case, I won.  I stood over the body of my fallen adversary and buried him in an unmarked grave in my backyard.  And I’ve been grieving the loss ever since.  Sure, my Archnemesis wreaked havoc on the garden vegetables, and snacked on the flowers, but it turns out that our games were the real joy, as he (or she) tried to snack and I tried to sneak up on him.  For years we’d go back and forth as he raided my yard and I tried to get better and better photographs, and I enjoyed the challenge, and, I discover in retrospect, the company.

Loam Raider

It didn’t take long for his final victory to sink in, for me to realize that I missed the mad little rodent.  I find myself looking back at the pictures I took and thinking about the curious and improbably circumstances that brought him so far from where he might have had a home that our paths could have crossed. 

The Game is Afoot

So imagine my surprise at seeing a ghost, this past weekend, an unexpected doppleganger calmly nibbling dandelions in the green grass field.  Not my dear old enemy, there can be no question there.  But a new adversary, cut from the same cloth. 

Except then he flopped over onto his side like a lazy cat in a sunbeam.  Clearly not my old enemy, who was cagey and much more aware of his surroundings.  My new opponent is young, and inexperienced.  Or much more confident in his strength.  The fool.

But for all that the new Adversary is not what the old one was, he is enough for now, and by the time we are done jousting, perhaps he shall have a little more respect for sharpness of my cunning and the depth of my aperture.  Perhaps with time the forge of our enmity will be enough to make him into what he and I both need.

Our Archnemesis.



Posted in life, photography, rants.

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One Response

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  1. Atila says

    hee hee… Atila the BUN!
    Dude, your archnemesis is a Bunny… um… you need to aim for something a little trickier (and likely EVIL)… like a squirrel! You’ve clearly done in one Bunny…

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