This last week, I came out of my shell a bit and got out for some socializing. Even for this committed introvert, it hasn’t been terrible. In fact, it’s been quite enjoyable. I finally went to the monthly Poet’s Gathering, which I hadn’t been to in ages, and it was a blast—I got caught up with a poet friend of mine and met some fascinating new people. And I hung out all day yesterday with an amazing old friend who finally moved back Seattle. It was a very healing experience to spend time in companionship with her, walking, talking and getting caught up on each other’s lives.
I tend to isolate for reasons that I don’t always understand—some vague combination of apathy, fatigue, and unreasonable fear of risk—but I have resolved that this Fall, I am going to make a concerted effort to be more of a joiner, a getter-outter, a goer-to-places. I’m tired of feeling holed up, disconnected and cut off. I want to reconnect with the poetry community, make some more writing friends, and just generally do more stuff outside of work. I’m going to go to some readings, do some open mics, and stick my face out there in front of people until I wear them down into liking me, damnit.
(Warning: Breaking Bad Season 6 Spoilers Ahead) Mr. Typist and do lots of things separately. Separate laundry. Separate video gaming. Separate friending. Separate shopping. Mostly separate TV-watching. But we decided that “Breaking Bad” was a journey we would go on to together, and through the grimness of summer, we watched every single episode starting with Season One. Now we’re in the home stretch. The show is going to wrap up on September 29th and I am in a constant state of low-grade agitation because I don’t know what’s going to happen to Jesse. And I have to know what is going to happen to Jesse, because I have identified with him on such a pathological level that in my mind his fate is my fate, and if he comes to a bad end, then there is no hope for my own existence. “But Good Typist”, you may ask, “why on earth would you identify so strongly with an angry young meth-cooking ex-junkie street-pushing murderer who clearly suffers from Stockholm Syndrome?” Well, here’s the thing. For the longest time, I felt a sort of nurturing feminine protectiveness towards Jesse. He’s a blocked artist, a soulful, lost young man tortured by guilt, and he’s spent the last five seasons allowing himself to be Walter White’s bitch. His self-esteem is non-existent. He’s smart, but he has no sense of personal agency whatsoever. He has a moral core in there somewhere, but he’s constantly being compromised because of his psychological fusion with Walt. He’s desperate and sad and trapped and tormented. I just wanted to give him a chocolate chip cookie and a glass of warm milk and sit him down for a serious talk about Making Better Choices.
But that was before he tried to burn Walt’s house down. When he tried to burn Walt’s house down, I realized that what I resonate with in Jesse is not his victimhood, but his rage--his epic, righteous fury. Once I saw that Jesse had a deep well of wrath within, I ceased feeling protective of him and began feeling like he and I were twin souls with mysteriously intertwined fates. “But, Ms. Typist,” you may ask, “what do you have to be so angry about?” To which I can only reply, “What have you got?” In any case, instead of dealing with real issues in my own life, I have become totally fixated on what is going to happen to a fictional TV character. Because deep inside me lives an angry young man—and I really want him to win.