Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Voyager Re-Watch: Warlord

Ok, so I guess somehow it's Tuesday now. Over the weekend (I think?) I watched Warlord. I love this episode. It's a fantastic character episode for Kes, a great chance for Jennifer Lien to flex her acting muscles, and it contains an emotional Kes/Tuvok friendship scene. You know how I just love Vulcan friendships. So much fun.
Here's the thing, I've been banging my head against the table/keyboard/steering wheel for the last two days in preparation for this post. I wanted to write about it. I wanted to do a great recap where I delve into Jennifer Lien's great performance and go further into detail about what makes this a unique and intriguing episode. But all I could think about was Kentucky. The rolling, green hills. The twisting rivers and streams. The endless, deafening hum of cicadas.

Weird, right?

Well, maybe not.

See, the thing is, I'm actually in Kentucky. I've been here for nearly three weeks.

At the beginning of August, Scott and I took a crazy whirlwind trip to New York City to see Penn and Teller on Broadway. We got back on Sunday night. We went about our regular lives on Monday. And then on Tuesday we got a call saying that a close family member had had a health emergency. We waited for news, hoping for the best. On Thursday, we hopped on a plane and came back to the South East just in time to be here for a major surgery. We've been here ever since.

We've been helping out here. At first we were at the hospital. We were the night shift. Quietly sitting by or wandering the corridors at 1AM or eating cafeteria pork chops as we watched moonlit rain pound the windows. After about a week we left the hospital but stuck around Kentucky, doing stuff that needs doing and just providing emotional support. Two weirdos--one with Asperger's--are maybe not the best emotional caregivers but, I mean, whatever. We do what we can.

In the midst of all this I've managed to steal away for a few hours here and there. I had tacos, breakfast, and beer with my friend Kate who also took me for my first pedicure. I met with my mentor. I had dinner with a great friend and former costumer. Scott and I ate barbecue with a few of our Shakespeare students and an old friend. And, I went to see my dad.

We went for a quick hike, visited my grandpa's grave, played video games, ate pizza, and watched weird movies and anime until we fell asleep. The next day I got in my rent-a-wreck and drove back toward Scott's family's house. In the car, it felt like there was a vice gripping my heart. I was choking, I was smothering, I couldn't breathe. I was drowning in the thick, wet Kentucky air. 

This is the first time we've been home in just about two years. Circumstances have prevented us from making our way back like we've wanted to and it took a real emergency to make it happen. And that feels rather strange. There's just not enough time. I'd love to make the trek to North Carolina to see my mom and sister and brother. I'd love to spend a couple days just hiking around the Appalachian Mountains. I'd love to hit up some legit fried chicken places and chow down without worrying about catching a plane. I'd love to roll around in the grass and climb the trees until I felt like I'd somehow absorbed enough of Appalachia's greenness to last me another long while in the desert. But we just don't have the time or the opportunity. The thing is, this whole experience has made me feel--more keenly than ever before--the way time slips away. I feel like I use my time well. I write my heart out. I publish books. I make art. I lift weights. I eat good food. I have great relationships. I appreciate the little things. What else can I do? 

Nothing really. Just put my foot on the gas and point my car to the next destination. I could pound my head against the steering wheel/keyboard/table all day. It won't change how fast the clock ticks. As a great guy once said, "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." So that's what I'm doing now. I'm writing this post because, even though I only barely mentioned the episode, this project is still a huge part of my life. What'll I do next? Who knows? But I feel like I'm on the right track. Even if there's never enough time. 

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