So here’s a coincidence – LOST ran for 6 years, just the amount of time that I had wound up spending with the person I loved and, in a way, will always love. For most of the time I watched the show, I was pretty much sharing it – just like sketchy water in a stream. And then, after the sharing was over, I realized that it was never really over (here’s a conundrum for you to enjoy). And not only because there were other freaks out there – doing round-ups, making animated gifs, and, as the vernacular goes, “jearing.” (Moscow doesn’t believe in jears – but I do)
We were in this together, whether we loved it or hated it, or grew “meh” about it, or had one of those erratic relationships where you’re screaming at each other one minute, and spoon-feeding each other oatmeal and honey the next.
It’s hard for me, in that light, to talk about the LOST finale, the end of all ends, as it may be, because it mostly requires me to descend into solipsism. That’s all beside the fact that I am still not sure what to say about it, of course. Everything I’m going to say at this point is just going to be stupid. There were parts I liked, and parts I didn’t like, and parts that made me jear, and they’re all knocking about in my head right now – atoms crashing into one another with a life of they’re own.
So I’m just going to tell you about is the other night. This other night, right as the world was gearing up to watch the LOST finale, I was sitting on a mattress in downtown Moscow, watching nothing but the light from other people’s headlights creeping across the ceiling. The man sitting next to me said, “you know, this isn’t forever. Just like me and [name of the woman he is with] are not forever.”
I don’t remember what I told him. I don’t think I said anything of consequence. I did press my knee closer to his knee.
What I wanted to say – what I should have said – is that yes, of course, nothing is forever. However, the thing with love is – it’s just like that church at the end of LOST. It has no now. Years later, the person I have loved will have, like, 6 kids with another woman, or something like that. Even more years later, he and I will both be dead, buried far away from each other. And many years ago, Ivan Bunin sat down and wrote about how the eyeless skull of the woman who once rocked him to sleep every night, his mother, lies buried in the soil, far away, in Russia. And none of it matters, in the end. Because love, by definition, wouldn’t be love if it hinged on things like skulls or who gets buried where or what you do with the rest of your life after having moved on. Love is like its own element on the periodic table, with its own properties. Love outlasts us.
Anyway, these are all the things I should have said, and it would have been neat – with candles burning in the window, and the sound of those cars on the wet asphalt, and an enormous storm cloud in the distance that was occasionally lighting up like a flickering light bulb, like a Morse code message from angels wandering the atmosphere – but that is the other thing, nothing much in life is exactly neat. The edges are mostly frayed and you take whatever ending you can get.
So I sat there with my knee against his, warm skin against warm skin, and I said nothing much. Then we wound up arguing about sci fi and fantasy for a while, both because I wouldn’t shut up about LOST and because one of my new plays is pretty outlandishly fantastical, and he kept going “why, just WHY write that sort of thing” and I had nothing clever to say in response to that as well.
But days later, I wrote him, sent a link to the trailer for the new Christopher Nolan trailer, and lazily paraphrased one of my old articles, in which I talked about how LOST is a show for the twilit reaches of your brain. Except that I said “mind” this time, and not “brain.” Which makes a huge difference, to me.
From the perspective of simple, craftsmanship, I step back, tilt my head way up until my neck starts to hurt, and admire what LOST has managed to accomplish. Even the irate responses to the show as a whole or its many elements (and various fails), are a gift, because LOST inspires people to express some of the best sarcasm available today. It is responsible for such brilliant bitchiness in my Facebook inbox and Twitter feed as of late, that I really ought to take screencaps (and would, if I wasn’t a lazy-ass loser when it comes to this sort of thing).
I’m grateful for that. And I’m grateful for the high quality of sadness that I feel right now. If you can’t avoid feeling sad, make sure you do it as well as you can.