Saturday Morning Cartoons

Strangely enough, my maniac obsession blossomed from nothing more than the simple habit of waking up at the first light of dawn on Saturday mornings. It did not matter how late I had stayed up the night before reading the latest Harry Potter book—my internal clock woke me up at the same early hour every Saturday. I used to be able to fall back asleep without a second thought, but as it had been no more than a few days after my family moved into our new house, I found it aggravatingly difficult to fall asleep in such a different environment. Large brown boxes waiting to be unpacked littered the room, as did my worn copies of the Harry Potter books and miscellaneous items of clothing. The soft glow of early morning light filtered into the room, illuminating the room, which seemed more like a stranger’s than my own. It was an odd feeling that I had experienced before, as my family was accustomed to moving wherever job opportunities turned up.

Feeling like an intruder in somebody else’s house, I dragged myself out of bed. Our new house was nothing like our old, cozy apartment, which boasted a fluffy, carpeted floor and perfectly controlled air conditioning and heating. Instead, I found the worn hardwood floors to be icy cold and the air several degrees cooler than what I would have preferred. Yawning, I wrapped a large blanket around my shivering body and slid on the train of quilted squares until I found myself in the kitchen. Normally, by the time I would wake up, my mother would already be in the kitchen preparing breakfast, but at this early hour, nobody in my house made a single noise. Disappointed, I found myself a box of cereal, poured it into a cup (another one of my many idiosyncrasies) and sat down on our worn blue couch. It was nothing special, really, just a cheap, second-hand, navy blue couch with small white dots patterned along its comfortably fuzzy surface, but to me, it was the only remnant of our previous home. The three seats of the couch were worn from sitting, one more so than the others, since my parents were always either at work or bustling around the home. Later we would throw the blue couch out, to replace it with furniture of better taste, but the image and feel of that blue couch will be forever ingrained in my mind.

Unlike most other children of my age, I did not particularly like to watch television. That was mostly due to the quality of the television set and lack of cable. Our television was not anything like the large, flat paneled screens I had seen at many of my friends’ houses. Instead, it was made up of a small, boxlike screen, no more than two and half feet tall by two and a half feet wide which sat on a moveable wooden cart. The worst part was that atop the screen sat a large insect-like set of antennae which when moved even the slightest bit could cause the picture on the screen to turn to a blur of gray and white static. Years later, I would be much relieved to see the departure of the television and its antennae, but on this early morning, I turned on the television and was surprised to find a relatively clear picture being displayed on its screen, as well as clear sound of music instead of the loud buzz of static. Not wanting to wake up my parents, I frantically toned the volume down until the song was barely audible but still relatively loud in such a quiet environment. Cartoon figures flashed across the screen as a small but strong voice sang:
“I wanna be—the very best, like no one ever was…”

Soon, it registered that this was not a show that I had ever seen before. I sat there transfixed, eyes glued to the bright and cartoony colors. I had always loved fantasy and this new world of make-believe that now sat before me was open for exploration. I watched the entire half hour show and another, and then another, until my mother finally woke up and prepared a breakfast more satisfactory than dry cereal. The next Saturday morning, I found myself in the same place, and before I knew it, it Saturday morning cartoons became a part of my life, and as I began to develop more day-to-day habits, I began to feel more at home in our new house. After all, it was there, on that worn blue sofa, that I discovered the world of Pokémon.
***

Several months after moving into our new home, my parents decided that it was time to pay a visit to our extended family in China. After all, the Christmas holidays were fast approaching and we had nothing better to do. My family is not religious at all, but that year, I still managed to convince my parents to buy me a gift just for the sake of the holiday of Christmas. I had dropped many blatant hints of what I wanted so that my parents would know exactly what to get me; I even went so far as to allow myself to get reprimanded for wasting my time ogling limited edition Pokémon cards.

Those days leading up to Christmas were absolutely agonizing. Every Saturday morning, I watched my weekly episode of Pokémon, obsessively recording the name and stats of any new Pokémon I came across in a green spiral-bound notebook, daydreaming of the cards which my parents would give me. Like any other child at Christmastime, my daydreams were filled with romanticized notions of tearing off green and red wrapping paper and silver ribbon under a beautifully decorated Christmas tree. Unfortunately, my hopes were crushed when I found out that my parents had bought tickets for a flight that would leave first thing Christmas morning, but nevertheless, I still entertained myself with the notion of such a perfect Christmas.

Like a sly feline hunter, the day of departure sneaked up and pounced on me without warning. Before I could even register that I was awake, my parents had already dragged me out of bed. Soon, I found myself carrying a knapsack of books and games as I boarded the plane to China. I was moody and silent not because it was so early in the morning, but rather, because I had not received my Christmas present yet. I was afraid that my parents might have forgotten it at home, until my father pulled out a small parcel out of his pocket. It was a pack of Pokémon cards.

For the entire duration of the plane ride, I refused to sleep. Instead, I sat in my seat with the foldable table open in front of me, and my new Pokémon cards laid out before me. It was the first time in my memory that I traveled on a plane, but I was not afraid. Instead, I held onto my precious Christmas gift as if it could protect me from anything that would come my way. It had been many years since then, and I have long since gotten over my obsession for Pokémon, but sometimes I open up the top drawer of my desk and flip through the thick deck of Pokémon cards, their edges worn from the many times they have been put to use. It is comforting in an odd sort of way.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback