Is it me, or is somebody actively stage-managing the last few news cycles with an eye to freakish headlines and improbable stories? (Ok, so that’s just a long-winded way of saying, “You can’t make this stuff up!”) Today’s media feeding frenzy will no doubt focus on the lone survivor of an airbus crash in the Indian Ocean early this morning: as of this writing, it appears all 152 on board were killed — except for a single child.
This child, as of now an ungendered toddler (UPDATE: That toddler is in fact a 13-year-old girl) (who has probably already lined up a book deal) will have a very strange life that could go one of three ways:
A) Moody Loner
He/she will slowly come to realize the random chance that has allowed his/her life to continue and will become ever more obsessed by the freakish probability involved in being the sole survivor of a plane crash. Unable to cope with the enormity of this starkest of lessons in the arbitrary nature of existence, he/she will slowly go mad, engaging in classic self-destructive behavior, most likely drugs or alcohol paid for by an out-of-court settlement with the airline; not infrequently, he/she will yell things like, “You don’t know what it’s like to be me!” and “I should be dead right now.” Sadly, he/she will get his/her wish some time in his/her late twenties, found in a Parisian flophouse, dead of an overdose, the words “Je n’existe pas” scrawled in black lipstick on the bathroom mirror.
B) Media Darling
He/she is swept up in a whirlwind circuit of talk shows and photo opportunities, all of which are managed by a canny uncle with one eye on the dollar. As he/she gets older, the opportunities for cashing in on the Miracle Child brand increase exponentially, from a wildly successful dance hit in the summer of his/her 14th year (a remixed, rewritten cover of Sugar Ray’s “Fly”) to an afternoon TV advice show for teenagers. Unfortunately, he/she will fail in his/her attempts to escape the limelight in his/her mid-twenties, leaving college after only three months (“Hey look, there’s the Miracle Child!”). After a half-hearted attempt to start a humanitarian foundation for crash survivors, he/she will be found in a Parisian flophouse, dead of an overdose, the words “Je n’existe pas” scrawled in black lipstick on the bathroom mirror.
C) Religious Figure
Left as an orphan, with no family coming forward to claim responsibility, he/she is adopted by the mysterious head of a much-loved charitable foundation; little does anyone know that said foundation is, in fact, a front for a moon-worshiping religious cult, and that Miracle Child has been determined to be said cult’s messiah. Raised with a dichotomous mix of perpetual indulgence and emotional distance, he/she grows up with a deeply dysfunctional personality, swinging wildly between bathetic neediness and cruel arrogance. At the age of 13 (puberty!) a rival faction in the cult will usurp the leader, immediately declaring Miracle Child a false idol. He/she will bounce through the social welfare system (the airline money long having been subsumed by the “charity”), until at the age of 18, when he/she is found in a Parisian flophouse, dead of an overdose, the words “Je n’existe pas” scrawled in black lipstick on the bathroom mirror.
Good luck to you Miracle Child, survivor of doomed flight 310! Maybe you’ll hit all three!