WHEN THE BLUE FAIRY transformed the puppet, Pinocchio, into a real human boy, he had to acclimate himself to many new situations. There was now the excretion of human waste. There was the sensation of hunger. There were the noticeable restrictions of his leg, neck and arm movements. The three hundred and sixty degrees revolution of said appendages was now no longer possible. He had, also, lost his buoyancy.
Getting adjusted to the new sensations of his now elaborate nervous system was problematic. His dendrites and nerve endings were overripe and tender. Pinocchio would recoil and almost collapse into a foetal position whenever anyone ever touched him. When he was a puppet, that sort of thing never happened. In fact, as a puppet, when Geppetto slapped some varnish and buff him with a cloth, it would be our equivalent to a massage. This Pinocchio luxuriated in.
However, it was his eyes that remained the same. His pinocchios as it were, which roughly translates to: pine-eyes. Those pine eyes remained steadfast and unblinking, a permanent blank stare, two identical marbles side-by-side on a shelf. Now, as a human, it was noted that Pinocchio had trouble making eye contact.
It can also be said that Pinocchio had a proclivity for being confused by idiomatic expressions in that he took them literally. He gravitated toward fact. He loved facts because they were not misleading. He believed that facts never lied. Facts would supply a new kind of ontological stability in his life. He believed in the concrete.
As a puppet, he loved nothing better than a day with nothing to do. Then it was just so easy for Pinocchio to fill a day with unbridled frolic and vandalism. Now as a responsible human, he desperately needed a rigid schedule crammed with arduous scientific academics.
He loved his studies because he did not like thinking about himself.
This presents us with Pinocchio's worst hurdle: as a human being. Pinocchio, now could not accept the fact that he was once a mischievous wooden puppet. This fact of fantasy was something from which he consciously as well as unconsciously disassociated himself. Like a criminal reading his name on a warrant: this sometimes ignites a momentary amnesia in which the felon will see his letters printed on the document but won't recognize that as his own name. This is a form of self-preservation.
At home with Gepetto, Pinocchio would look away from the plethora of puppets dangling from the beams in the filthy workshop. Pinocchio would gaze at a cricket or a donkey with no glimmer of sentiment or empathy. Pinocchio wouldn't even acknowledge who he had been, especially when he became famous.
In the late 1890's Carlo Collidi serialized episodes in the puppet's life in the newspapers which made Pinocchio cringe and vomit. Carlo, that son of a bitch, was a snoopy reporter who was a cousin of a close friend of Geppetto's. Carlo took the friend's stories and exploited them for his own notoriety. The only thing Pinocchio got out of that whole hideous situation was the unrelenting need to change his name to Giacomo.
Giacomo was a name Pinocchio could feel comfortable with. It was a common name after the apostle James. Pinocchio thought it was a perfect disguise. No one would ever know who he was with his new name even if it had the same rhythm and flow as the name Pinocchio.
"Dad, I'm home."
"Oh my Pinochi--"
"Giacomo. I am a real little boy now." Giacomo spoke in an emotionless monotone.
Geppetto was splattered with paint, sprinkled with wood dust and smelled of varnish, as he accentuated a dimple on a marionette's face. "To me, you will always be ..."
"Giacomo!" interjected Giacomo. "I received a ninety eighth percentile on my physical and mathematical science exam."
"That's very good!" responded Geppetto, remembering now that a letter had arrived in the mail. The envelope was sealed with red wax and the address was typewriter-written. There were a good number of stamps in a row in the upper right hand on the face of the envelope. They were as colourful and official as stripes on a major -general's chest. Geppetto surmised that the letter must be for Giacomo, because he was the only one in the cottage that read. "That's very good ... you know a ..."
"Good!" shouted Pinocchio. "Eighty-fifth percentile is very good! Ninety eighth percentile is excellent or near perfect!"
"Well yes, you're right!"
"You are proud of me now, aren't you? Dad?"
"Of course, I am."
"I am a good student who studies hard and doesn't cause you trouble anymore."
"Yes, you are all of that. Son."
"I am a good student whom you are proud of."
"Oh! I am. I am," concurred Gepetto.
"I am a good boy now."
"Yes, you are."