On October 8 2011, i was cleaning my room. It was a Saturday, and my boyfriend was rehearsing on campus. He was planning to come over during the afternoon break for . . . Well, for some afternoon delight. I was cleaning my room and watching the West Wing; i like to have the TV on in the background while i work. I put on a DVD of a show i've seen a million times and i grade papers, or write papers, or cook, or clean. And this particular episode was 'In Excelsis Deo'. When my sister called to say that Adam had been blown up, it didn't really make sense to me right away. My roommate walked by as i was hanging up the phone. Sensing that something was wrong, she asked what was going on.
"My brother was just blown up," i said. And i laughed a little: isn't it ridiculous? My brother, getting blown up? Isn't that the silliest thing you've ever heard? Big things hit me slowly.
It wasn't until half an hour or so later when John came into the room that it really sank in. I began to tell him what had happened, and i began to cry. He took me in his arms and sat on the edge of the bed and held me. And then the funeral scene in the episode began.
"Sobbing" is not the word for what i did then. "Bawling" is closer the mark, but still doesn't quite hit it. You have to use old, outdated vocabulary to come close to my reaction to that funeral scene: keening, lamenting, wailing. John jumped up and turned off the TV.
A year and a half later, after my brother completed the Boston marathon, after the marathon was the focus of a terrorist attack, after i was stranded in Boston and then in Revere, trying to get back home, after i finally got home and then went to work all day, Mark Oshiro posted his review of 'In Excelsis Deo'. Everything comes full circle.
Those who have experienced mental illness first-hand will probably see flashes of themselves in this post. Those who have not experienced it themselves but have seen it in a loved one might find this interesting. Those who have no experience, either first- or second-hand, with mental illness are first of all either lying or deluded, and second of all should still read this for the writing.
Sometimes, commercials are just plain dumb. And sometimes, they're a little bit worse than dumb.
But this almost makes up for it.
I fell in love with Kate Inglis' writing last year in a way i haven't fallen for words in a long time, in a way where i want to kill her so her talent can stop eclipsing mine and i want to sit at her feet and learn from her and i want to be her pen pal and friend and i want to write something that will impress her and i want to quit writing so there's no chance of overshadowing her brilliance and i want to quit everything and just read her words, all of them, even her journals and shopping lists and birthday cards. And here, she marries words with images and rekindles that first flame. She doesn't post often these days, but the posts are well worth waiting for.
And the brilliant and lovely Hayley Campbell posts a second collection of Brief Interviews with Hideous Men. Not to be confused with Men Call Me Things, though i'd argue that they are related, Hayley's transcripts of actual conversations is hilarious and terrifying and acidic and very very typical.