A Pokémon is my Spirit Animal
For those of you who don’t know, Pokémon is a very popular card and video game where you catch little animals and bond with them, using them to fight others called Trainers and winning badges and Poke Money. I was first introduced to this new world over at my cousin’s house during Christmas.
See, my cousins always had the cool stuff; the latest video game systems, the newest games, the knowhow on how to get a BB Gun from the local Ice Cream truck guy and best of all, they had cable.
One day, when they were feeling pretty generous, they let me play on their hand held while we were waiting for the cable to start working again. It was a Gameboy Advanced by Nintendo. And the game that so happened to be inside was Pokémon Fire Red Version, a kind of reboot from the original Pokémon Red.
I started up a new game, I wasn’t able to save it of course, my cousin had started a game and didn’t want it overridden. And I fell in love. Admirably the whole premise was ridiculous. Going around, beating animals within an inch on their life so that you could catch them and make them fight other animals. Believe me, I was a smart kid and I knew what it sounded like.
But in all seriousness, I loved it. As a kid, I had an overactive imagination, more than usual I would say. Imagining traveling the region with the creatures I befriended was amazing! Sure, I could only replay the first few hours over and over again because I couldn’t save but it was worth it every time. I would get a new starter Pokémon, get myself a new team and defeat the first gym again. Each time it was a different experience.
My cousins must have realized that they had unintentionally created a Pokémon addict and gave me their Gameboy a few days later as a Christmas present. (They got the new Gameboy SP, a newer, smaller version of my bulky Advanced along with a new Pokémon game of their own).
Ever since, I have been an avid Pokémon fan. Just to think, before that Christmas I didn’t even know that Pokémon existed. But now for the reason for the title.
Over the years as I have played the many iterations and different versions of the Pokémon game franchise, there was one Pokémon that I really grew attached to. As time went on, it became more than just a favorite because it was cute or looked cool but became more of a Pokémon version of myself.
The disaster Pokémon, Absol.
Absol is a dog like creature with white fur and a singular horn on the side of its head. According to Pokémon lore, it lives in the mountains and when it senses a coming disaster it comes down and tries to warn people. As a result, many people in the Pokémon world saw Absol as cursed, bringing misfortune onto others when in reality, it was just trying to warn them.
Without going into so much detail, I felt that this was me in life. around that time, there were some things that had happened that I felt were my fault, that bad things kept happening around me. Being so young, I blamed myself. I was the Absol to the real world.
And for a while, that was what we had in common, Absol and I; our shared misery of being alone and misunderstood, the bearers of bad luck and worse news.
Recently, Absol has had a kind of makeover, a Mega Evolution. Before now, Absol could not evolve or change into another creature. It had been stuck in the role of the Disaster Pokémon without much hope that it could be anything different. But as of the Generation VI X and Y games, Absol received an evolution. Through the use of a Mega Stone, Absol got its wings.
While Absol can’t fly, its wings are made of bristled fur and not feathers, its whole personality changes. Instead of being introverted and staying in the mountains, afraid of what people with think, Absol now has its head up high. According to the Pokédex entries, a device that logs the Pokémon caught, Absol goes from being driven deep into the mountains to beating its wings to intimidate its opponents. From being a messenger from disaster to being filled with energy to spread its wings. It may not be able to fly but it is able to glide!
It’s a little ridiculous to sat that a fictional creature has inspired me but it has. While I might not have wings of my own I know that I can glide. The thoughts of others and their opinions can slide off me just like they have done for Absol.
I’m still working on it but I hope to be more like Absol with wings outstretched and catching the breeze. For the both of us, our lives won’t always be easy. Absol still has to live far away from other people and there are some days I still feel like I’m a walking bad luck charm. But Absol gives me hope that one day, we really will take to the sky.
What a fun read! Thanks for sharing this. I look forward to hearing more about your experiences of catching the breeze.
Interesting parallel! Currently, are you still like Absol or do you resonate with another character?
I think I’m still an Absol. Probably for slightly different reasons but yeah!