Have you ever been kidnapped?
Sometimes the English language is just confounding. I mean how did “napping” enter the picture? Napping?!!? There’s clearly a better name out there. Kidsnatching. Kidgrabbing. Same phonetic feel. Same syllables. None of the confusion. Even if I ignore the marginalizing genre-specific "kid" prefix, I know the last thing anyone thinks about during an abduction is taking a nap. (Although that now strikes me as the ultimate slap in the face to would-be "peepsnatchers." Just go to sleep on they ass. I would be so pissed if I hijacked someone and instead of being all scared and pleading for their life they just got drowsy and went to sleep. Arrrgghh!)
All that said, maybe I’m thinking about it too superficially. Because when I think about my kidnapping experiences, I could liken it to a nap. At least in the sense of starting an action, and it happens, and you know it, but you don't really know what happened exactly because your mind was in another place. Sort of how our internal body chemistry responds the same to "dream" stimuli as "real" stimuli, my cognitive and functional memory of my kidnappings are the equivalent of a nap with vivid, but hazy, dream sequences.
These memories are unique for me in that they are totally emotionless snapshots of my life. I'm normally a sentimental type, and a sucker for a nostalgic run through the photo album. Especially if StevieWon is playing in the background. But with the Kidnapping Gallery, I can look through the pictures and see the tears on my face, or the candid of me grasping the leg of a table while being yanked out the classroom as my classmates watched in shock (see on the right there, that's my 4th grade teacher Mrs. Cohen, she looks very concerned.) I can stare at those shots forever, but I never feel the emotion that a good picture inspires. I don't know, it seems like I should feel something, maybe I need to get a frame.
The fact is, much like our defiantly napping kidnappee earlier, I was never fully immersed in the zone of total fear and horror that would be an understandable natural response to being kidnapped by a stranger. Me personally, I’ve only been kidnapped by my mother. So I was never concerned for my life, per se. I was never worried about being tortured and abused in a cold dark basement. I never prayed for Morgan Freeman or Ashley Judd (or CSI, for a more contemporary example) to come rescue me. I just … I don’t know. I just. It wasn't quite confusion, confusion implies some proactive attempt to cut through the jungle and find the path. I just sat in the jungle. Waiting. Napping maybe. Not waiting for anything in particular. Godot possibly. Good hip hop perhaps. A soulmate is always nice...
Of course, I was around 8 years old when my mother first kidnapped me, the first of three episodes over the course of the next couple years, so I probably wasn't really thinking about soulmates at the time. I was precocious though, so it's entirely possible I was wrestling with the "idea" of soulmates. Did they really exist, or was it a quaint romantic notion stemming from a practical, but fundamentally flawed, and increasingly outdated institution of marriage? A silly vestige from a no longer relevant past, or the ultimate affirmation of an otherwise meaningless life? Either way, at the time, I certainly had no quality prospects.
None of my kidnappings lasted longer than 24 hours. Somehow they all ended up with me back home safe and sound. Nappy hair a little tousled, but no worse for wear. Just a little excitement for the day, then back to the grind tomorrow. On all three occasions my mother gave me a "Speak & Spell" to entertain me. I always liked Speak & Spell. I guess she knew that about me. (incidentally I'm quite sure S&S played no small role in the fact that I now spel veri wel. On the other hand, I'm told my speaking is a little forced and computerized. HA!)
So I guess for me, now that I think about it, the term "kidnapping" is actually very apropos. But I don't think it's for everyone and every case. I'm still fond of "peepsnatchers" for more mainstream general usage.