Phantom of the Opera

I remember, when I was a child, Mom used to play me her cassettes of the Original Cast Recording of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera. She saved them for special times... like doing the dishes. Oh, how I loathe doing the dishes!! Somehow, the Phantom of the Opera made it bearable. That, and coffee.

So, today, I had a sudden and insatiable craving for Phantom of the Opera. I haven't listened to it in years, literally, but I realized that could still remember the words as I sang to myself in the shower. (I used to love pretending that I could sing like Christine.)

As I listened to it today (thank you,, I actually listened, and for the first time I was able to pick up on the story line myself. Mom had explained it when I was a girl, but I never could remember it well. It was all rather confusing to me. I just liked the music. (Actually, that's an understatement. I loved the music, particularly the organ pieces. I think that Andrew Lloyd Webber was the catalyst for my persistent love of organ music.)

The story I heard, however, chilled me to the core. I had never before understood how... creepy... demented... truly savage The Phantom is. His thought processes are so twisted and warped! And so he thinks that, because he taught Christine to sing, that she "owes" him love? Instead of thinking of her best good, he thinks only of himself and how she can serve to meet his needs and soothe his ego. He doesn't care that she truly loves and is loved by Raoul. It doesn't matter to him. He will force her to his side, if necessary. If she will not come with him willingly, he will use psychological torture to imprison her. He will deceive her. He will break her down until she is but a shadow of the woman he actually fell in love with... all so that he may have what he wants... so that he may poison her with the darkness that roils within and around him.

I have walked with Phantoms. I have been deceived, used, ensnared...

But now I am free. I serve no man. I am no one's ego prop. I belong to myself, and to God. I have the right to say, "No."

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