Hunting Hannibal Lecter

Date posted: July 1, 2006


When I first watched Silence of the Lambs, I had a crush on Hannibal the cannibal. Years later, when Hannibal was released, I grew to envy Clarice for the love of Dr. Lecter; I wanted to be her. Before you decide that I am a crazy chick and turn the page, let me take you for a quick walk in my shoes. I have been in and out of many relationships that lasted from a couple of days to a couple of months. The ones that crashed before they took off did not last because the man in question did not exert any effort to get my initial attention, while the ones that crashed before they landed safely, ended because the man in question stopped exerting effort and took me for granted! They – men – just do not want to work! I do not expect much; I just want to see a man going out of his way for me; what's the big deal? Shave his ugly head, lose a few extra pounds, get a job, wake up an hour early, sleep an hour late, drive an extra mile to see me, or any such thing that would translate in that head of mine into effort!

Now let me introduce you to the Dr. Lecter that I envy Agent Starling for; deep, intense, witty, handsome, and knows her like the back of his hand. He knows how her mind works and what makes her heart tick; he knows her every thought, fear, wish, and impulse. He loved her for her vulnerable strength. The beast had many chances to devour her, yet he declined. Hannibal Lecter dared her, challenged her, and pushed her from one limit to the other, but he was always there to save her soul when she gave in to despair. When the bad guys, society, enemies, or anyone hurt her, he was still watching over her shoulder; he hurt them for her. When it was his life or hers, he chose hers; when it was his wrist or hers, he saved hers; when it was his heart or hers, he broke his to mend hers. The beast went against his nature for her … this is my definition of effort!

My most recent attempt to find my Hannibal Lecter failed with flying colors. I told him from the start why I wanted to be Clarice Starling and why I was in love with Hannibal Lecter. He called me Clarice and I called him Dr. Lecter, but I was no Clarice and he was no Hannibal. I was a bit taken by the fact that he is 14 years older than I am, yet I decided to give us a chance. I liked talking to him; he was smart, deep, and successful. As the sun set on his face, I saw glimpses of Sir Anthony Hopkins – I am not on anything, I am just blessed with an overdose of imagination. As we spoke, I wanted him to raise his voice a bit; his faint voice inspired neither confidence nor strength. His body language was that of a man who gave up on life somehow; the way his shoulders dropped, his legs slouched, his back arched, and his belly bulged made it hard for me to move beyond the age thing. I have to admit though that he had a great smile and lovely eyes; he was so genuine and easy to talk to. He is reliable, responsible, and trustworthy.

A couple of days later he confessed; "You dazzled me; I have a crush on you". I replied that I was neutral. He was surprised, and I found the golden opportunity to speak my mind. I told him that I had no reason to move closer or to pull away, and I asked if my vibes said otherwise. He was still in shock, apologized, and said that it was his mistake. I told him that it does not have to be a mistake and I switched on my ultra expressive self and elaborated:

"Earlier, I talked about the combination of body (the physical side of the relationship), mind (the mental compatibility in the relationship), and heart (the emotions that grow into the relationship). With you, the "body" part of me is not getting there because my imagination has been blocked by your thick shy serious surface. The naughty part in you and the naughty part in me are miles away. The "mind" part is ok because I do enjoy communicating with you, but this is a base for a good friendship. The "heart" part is somehow linked to the "body" part plus time. Your handicap is not in the age written on your birth certificate; it is the age you are living.

What would it take to move me? I would say a diet, a workout, a new wardrobe (cool and hip), a sexy perfume (nothing along the line of Old Spice), a louder voice, fun and more fun. I just handed you a whole chapter in my manual … your call." Then I sincerely added that the person that dazzled him was not who my mom gave birth to; I was shy, ugly, colorless, inhibited, and quite dull, and it took so much time and effort to turn the cocoon into a butterfly. I was relieved to have said it all, and I hoped that this Hannibal will not be like all the other fake Hannibals and run for his life.

Dr. Lecter was brave enough to hear me out but his reply was not what I had hoped for; he had a clarification to point out. First that I did not know the naughty part in him (I wanted to tell him that I was not sure I ever will, but I held my peace.) Second, he said that it was not my physical appearance that dazzled him (yeah sure, and I am the queen of Sheba); it was my intelligence and deep penetrating look that impressed him. I saw where this was going; he was telling me that this is just who he is and how he will be. For some reason I was infuriated and offended. I told him exactly what to do but he, like any other guy, did not want to walk that extra mile.

My friends accuse me of being superficial and hung up on appearances. They do not see him "that" fat, or "that" switched off, or "that" old. "What's wrong with him?" they asked. Ladies, that question hurt so much; nothing is wrong with him, he is just not right for me. Why do you think that I should settle for less than what I want? Why do you think I should lower my expectations? Why do you deny me the right to be picky? Do you not think that I am worth it? Do you not see that I deserve it? Can I not do better? Am I "that" flawed? Am I "that" deluded"? Are you "that" unfair? Thank you but no thank you … Pass … I will wait for as long as it takes.

I rested my case saying: "Well, Dr. Lecter, playing with words and flipping phrases will get us no where. Yes! I care much for physical appearances; alone an appealing physique is nothing, but without it there will also be nothing. Had you met me and I was fat, sloppy, and bulging left and right, yet with the same intelligence and deep look, you wouldn't have developed that "crush" on me. Libras, and I am one of them, expect to take just as much as they give – quid pro quo, my dear Hannibal – and that covers body, mind, and soul." … and he was never heard of again.

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