Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Netflix and other stand-ins

So writing is writing, but (I tell myself) so, to some extent, is reading, and thinking about reading, and so (I would argue) is talking to myself in the car, especially when I use a phone app to record said self-talking and transcribe the talking later into my journal, and most especially when the self-talking is about how to write about the questions I'm trying hard to lean into.

For example, tonight I transcribed 1400 words from a 12-minute recording and found at least two ideas worth further thought. For me, this is progress. This is, dare I believe it, writing.

An excerpt:

So my relationships are with people at work. And they are limited to our interactions at work and one of the things I’ve noticed about my own behavior is that, now that I’m in a management position, I have not learned to curb my desire to be chummy with the other associates. I know that this behavior is a stand-in for other relationships that I long for--for the friendships I wish I had--and one good example is a recent hire . . . I’m glad when he’s scheduled to work with me because he’s a pleasure to be around. This is normal, I know . . . It’s okay, I think, to be that friendly with some coworkers—even if they’re “subordinates”—but it’s not healthy to use them as a stand-in for actual relationships.
Cue Netflix. Before I fall asleep, I usually watch something on Netflix, streaming it to my phone. For the past few months it's been whatever queer-themed movie Netflix suggests--as long as it rates at no less than two stars, I'll watch it--or, if it's terrible, skip through it--and so I've spent many late nights hugging my pillow instead of whatever fictional boyfriend happens to be emoting on my tiny screen.

And The West Wing. One of my favorite series ever. I started re-watching the whole thing, start to finish, right about the time I moved from Pennsylvania. I love the characters, I love the dialogue. I love the caring about issues and the banter and the camaraderie and yes, that is part of what I try to recreate at work, though I'm only just making that connection as I type this paragraph (I write to learn, yay). I remember watching the original series on television, so there are no big surprises for me, just memories and favorite moments and many other scenes and dialogue I'd forgotten but immerse myself into as if this weren't a TV series but a window into a past alternate reality in which Martin Sheen really was the President (I can't count the number of times I wished it so during Dubya's reign of error). I weep. I clench my pillow and weep. Don't go to the movies with me if you can't bear sitting next to the guy who shudders and emits audible moans.

All my relationships are with characters on Netflix. Through my phone. Except for those via what Mother calls Facepage.

And then there's Mother. And my brother, and my sisters. They're real, of course.

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