“I’m sick of space.”

Every once in a while this show stuns me. What does the hero want?

There isn’t a hero in this show, any longer.

Let me tell you about my relationship to coffee, instead. When I was sixteen, I was a candy-striper in the emergency room of a regional hospital in the middle of rural Vermont. Held a lot of kids’ faces that had been chewed off by dogs, told families they couldn’t see their dads dying of heart attacks, held people down when dislocated shoulders wouldn’t go back in, drunken skiers laughing about their leg bones sticking out, drowned teenagers, a bunch of stuff no one should ever see, much less at sixteen.

Thing is, at the end of every little incident like that, the nurses and the interns and me would all go back to the back during a break in the action, and have a cup of coffee. Pour the cup, shoot the breeze, calm down. Can you imagine? Have a jolt of caffeine to calm down. Something about preparing it just was reassuring. Whatever crazy shit was happening, I’d get the beans out of the freezer, grind ’em up, brew it, have it ready for the people doing the hard work. Cream, sugar. One nurse who I knew had a hot tub had some honey with hers and I had that out for her, too. I was sixteen so I didn’t really drink it with them at first, but, dang. That guy should have known better than to cut that tree limb over his head; of course that chain saw is coming down into his collar bone. Maybe I’ll have a cup with you guys.

I was talking to my dad about it, back then, and he said, Larry, he said, just drink it black. Coffee tastes like shit. You put cream and sugar in it, it tastes like creamed and sugared shit. Just drink it black. So that’s what I’ve done for the last forty years.

“What does the hero want?”

I don’t know, and you don’t either. Who’s the hero in this show? Nobody knows.

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