It is almost October, and that means the new season of Dexter is almost upon us. I am so excited I even named my son after the best character in TV and Book history. Anyway, my love for this show has often led me to think about the ‘Dark Passenger’ as Dexter so aptly names him, and I wonder…
Do we all have a Dark Passenger of our own that we need to live with?
Especially us writers. We live with a constant chatter and plethora of voices whispering to us. Uttering dulcet tones and ideas, promises of glory and wonder. The only difference is, that most of the time, our ‘passengers’ don’t tell us to burn things or to kill – real people at least.
If we are to look at the book representation of Dexter, and while I love Michael C Hall and is character, the book delivers a more powerful character in my opinion. In the novels, it is not only suggested but shown to us (in book 3) that the Dark Passenger is an actual entity. A spirit of sorts, which is older than time itself. He chose Dexter, and as such made his home within the lovable blood splatter analyst.
We are all born the same; naked and innocent to the ways of the world. We grow up and are educated by a system and by those around us, influenced to a degree by the environment that surrounds us. Put any spin on it that you want, we are all free of hate and beliefs. At some point darkness comes into our lives. We are introduced to hate, to fear and inevitably, ignorance.
Where does this come from, how do we learn it, from those around us, from those whose duty it is to raise us, or does it come from some other source?
This is where you can look at both faces of Dexter and find answers to both forms of Dark passenger and associate them with the real world influences. Whether spiritual or more physical in their beginnings.
It is easy to write it off and proclaim the voices that we hear to be our conscience, but it goes beyond that. Especially for writers. The voice is our drive, it is the source of our urges. We all say that we have to write, it is close to painful if we ignore those urges, we get moody, dark and at times angry, maybe even depressed. That is not the work of a conscience.
Could that be part of what makes Dexter so much fun. I mean let’s face it, we all meet people, at least one a day, where we stop and think, ‘if only I could send you to Dexter.’ Is there perhaps something in the character that tickles the dark presence within our minds, that goads it out of its slumber and makes it smile. How many of us have written a character we didn’t like, with the express purpose of his existence being his death. We play god with the people we create and do it with a song in our hearts and a smile on our face.
We are deranged, let’s be honest about it. Neurotic, Sociopath, Psychopath, you name it all such terms could be adjusted to encompass a writer’s personality. The question is, who is behind the wheel? You… or the passenger??