When the Lord of the Rings movies started coming out (nearly 15 years ago now, how is that even possible?), I was immediately taken with Gollum.
Movie Gollum was markedly even larger than life than his literary counterpart. It wasn’t just his wretched adorableness — although I’m sure that didn’t hurt.
It was his internal struggle.
I remember sitting in the theater thinking, “That’s it. That’s exactly what goes on in my head. I torture myself the same way.”
Example of the way in which my brain is mean to me: A bunch of co-workers give me compliments on new stuff I’m wearing. My first reaction is to think, “Gee, I guess Skyspook was right, and I do have pretty good taste,” but then a split second later, I add, “Either that, or I generally look like a hobo, and everyone is gently trying to steer me in a more hygienic direction.”
I’ve come a long way since those days, but the little guy still lives up there, and I suspect he’s here to stay, one way or another. I’m not that different from anyone else, careening through the modern age powered by a stone age brain. It’s threat-sensitive, imperfect, and fuzzy, but it’s mine.
I don’t think I can ever evict Gollum, but at the very least, I can wrap him in a blanket, give him some food, and affirm endlessly how gosh darn precious he is to me.