Post details: I am good at television.
I am good at television.
Monday, March 9th 2009
I spent most of last week watching TV. The only thing that really happened that wasn't TV was when the grocery kid came round. Every time I watch TV it feels good because it means that I'm catching up. It means that I've gotten a little better at TV.
I think that a lot of people must be a bit freaked out by TV, by how much of it there is. They must get this idea that even if they sat down and watched TV for the rest of their lives, they would never be able to get to the end of it. TV would beat them and they wouldn't even notice.
I don't have this problem so much, because I won't ever die. I can just keep on watching it at my own pace. I don't think they make TV as fast as I can watch TV, so I'm always winning. It's kind of funny that I want to start a TV company and will make my own TV show some day because it would mean that I'd be competing with myself. I'd still win though. A lot of people don't quite realise what living forever actually means. It means that, eventually, I will clock television.
When that happens, I'll still be me, but I'll have seen everything. I would get the context of every conversation and get every reference and new word. I'd be able to take apart a conversation in my mind and tell which part of it came from which TV show. Every possible phrase or feeling or joke or character type that has been on screen will be in my brain. You wouldn't be able to beat that. Nobody could.
So yesterday the grocery kid came round and I tried to tell him about how I was closer to clocking TV than ever but he didn't want to listen to any of that. He just wanted to talk about the crummy play he wrote years ago.
“Have you read it yet?”
“I've been really busy,” I said.
“You've been busy?” he said back at me.
“Yeah, sorry man, but I've got a lot going on.”
“You just told me you've been watching TV all week.” I didn't say anything. “Watching TV isn't being busy.”
“I kind of skimmed it,” I said. This was true. I think you can absorb a lot of something by reading just a few bits of it. Your brain seems to somehow know the best bits to read. It's all about recognising patterns and making theories about where the story would go, then checking quickly to see if those theories are true. I'm pretty good at it.
“You skimmed it,” he said flatly.
“Yeah, I just got the gist of it, you know,” I said. He was making me uncomfortable. My stomach hurt and I fidgeted.
“And what was the -gist- that you -got?-” He was definitely trying to make me uncomfortable. Even though it was working, I didn't let him see that it was having an affect. I stayed normal, even through this next part.
“There were these guys and they really liked each other,” I said. “They met in school and later on they did some plays that were a really big deal and then one of them died and the other killed himself. It was pretty lame, really, I don't like your stuff generally.” He drew up his face tighter than ever.
“Well, we knew that already, didn't we?” he said. “And he didn't kill himself. That was the whole point. The whole of the third act is him recovering and coming to terms with...”
“I didn't get to that part.” I helped. “I think it would be a better ending if he killed himself. It would be shorter, too. It's too long.”
“Do you remember a while back, a long time ago, when I went away and you all didn't know where I was? But then I came back - ”
“Yeah, you stopped being the landlord.” I said. I remembered that. People couldn't handle it. The landlord (who wasn't the landlord then) called me up every hour to say that nothing had happened.
“Do you know where I was? Do you know what happened?”
“Nobody told you?”
“No, I don't think so.”
“And you never got curious?” I looked at him. “Think about the play. The play is about me!” he was just about shouting. I don't think I was doing a good job of looking comfortable at this point.
“Oh, okay,” I said. It sounded so quiet next to his voice but I was just speaking normally.
“Okay?” he snorted. Then he laughed but it was fake, you could tell. “That's it. You're okay with it. It's all okay. Good. Fine.” He said and I nodded to show him that it was true, that it was fine and I thought so. Then he erupted. “You don't care about me at all. You know nothing about me. You don't even know when my birthday is. I'm just the 'grocery' kid to you now and nothing else.” The landlord must have told him about that name I use for him. Landlord! “Well you can get your own fucking groceries from now on. Here - ” he bent down and put all of the bags of groceries up on the counter where they should be. Then he did a fake smile as he walked past me and went right out of the door. He went downstairs and I heard him talking to his dogs again. This time I listened really hard and I heard a bit of what he was saying:
“Yes, Sam, yes Willy, -your- daddy loves you, yes he does.”
I tried reading his play again later on but it really isn't very gripping. Sarah will be the new grocery kid. She's got a lot less attitude and stronger legs. That means she can carry more.