One of the main characters in the first half of The Gathering is never named. She’s deliberately a manga satire, she’s the big eyed, be-ribboned innocent, but she’s also something else entirely, and nasty with it. In the script, she’s The Poor Little Me – a reference to the Eliza Carthy song that inspired her. Where that was too clunky, I’ve also called her Ribbons, but she doesn’t really have a name, she’s not that sort of girl.
I will be your friend, your best friend
I bet I’m the first pretty girl who
Ever wanted to be friends with you. I bet
Even the unpopular girls mostly do not want
To be friends with you. You’re so alone.
You are so odd, so awkward, so unlovely
It is as well I am so good and kind.
I’m very generous, everyone says so.
And now I take pity on poor you.
Poor little you, unloved, unwanted. Here I am
For you, here to be yours and in return
You’ll be so glad to do what I want
So happy with anything to make me smile.
Poor you, not much to smile about, is there?
But I can put up with you, I’m so kind
And you will be my best friend, my most
Loyal, devoted, trusting, obedient friend
So grateful because you know you don’t deserve
A friend as pretty and lovely as me.
I will be kind to you and you will say
How kind I am, how nice, how sweet
You will say I am the best, the very best.
I will be patient with your mistakes and failures
You are so slow, and clumsy, and sad.
Poor you. Poor little you. So hard, being you
Never happy, are you? Poor you. So sad.
So hard for me, being around you all the time
So tiring, with never enough joy to feed on
Never enough life in your marrow for me.
But I try, I do my best, it’s so hard
Being your friend, you are so useless
Poor little me.
Art by Dr Abbey,