Do you know this boy? It’s my boyfriend.
Boys like him don’t exist naturally. You have to create them. Some of you weren’t around in 2002 when I introduced Endless Mike. I didn’t have a boyfriend back then, but I wanted one. I believed back then that if I wanted something to happen, I would have to make it happen myself. I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted my boyfriend to be like. So I made myself a boyfriend out of newspapers and duct tape.
He was a darling, if you remember. He was a bit wide-eyed and naive, but that was part of his charm. He was interested in all the word around him, and I taught him semaphore and read to him from Emily Post, but he was probably a bit too naive to be a real boy just then. Plus he had no legs.
I’ve always had a fascination with the doll-becomes-real stories, or stories about making a person. My favorite movie’s always been Edward Scissorhands. I was so blown away by the eccentric lonely professor and his elaborate cookie factory, and how he got an idea to make one of his scissor-robots have feelings and choices. And I cried when he read to the half-finished form of Edward from Emily Post’s Etiquette. I bought my first 1920s etiquette book because of that movie. An early version of the doll-becomes-real story is Pygmalion. He was this Greek sculptor who made a beautiful statue and fell in love with her. Aphrodite finally had pity on the poor dude in love with a statue and made her into a real woman.
You won’t know until you literally make yourself a boyfriend how easy it is to get a crush on your statue. I know I did, a little bit:
But look! Endless Mike got taller when he grew his own legs!
Probably having to haul himself out of an Allston garbage truck when my bad ex-roommates threw him in the trash out of spite built his character and made him more worldy, and deserving of legs. Maybe it was that transition that finally allowed him to become a real boy and come back to me, much more complete than I remembered him as a duct-tape boy. I’ll bet that back when he was Endless Mike, you never guessed he had that much fight in him, huh? He wanted to be with me so much that even being destroyed couldn’t keep him away.