Without broadcast reception, either television or radio and with a lack of reading material also I’ve occupied some of my time with watching, or re-watching DVD’s of the popular and now some say, ‘classic’ and others venture as far as ’cult’ American drama series “Six Feet Under”. I’d quite forgotten how good this show was, how well it tapped into the plummeting depths and soaring highs of the human emotional experience. I’d also forgotten how ’gay’ it was, especially for a prime time US drama series, running for five seasons.
I remember watching a few episodes when they were broadcast on TV, but I only ever started to actually ‘get into’ the programme and watch it with serious intent after Matt, the American ex of mine, said he wanted the complete box set for Christmas one year. Rather to his surprise, I splashed out on the seventy of so quid and bought it for him and over the period between Christmas and New Year we watched the lot, all twelve or thirteen episodes of each of the five series. That was a few years ago and it’s only now that I’m watching them again and you know what is quite amusing is that along with the action on screen, I’m also remembering a few of the comments, barbs, compliments and sounds that Matt made whilst the same scenes flicker over the screen by there technical wizardry. It is so odd remembering his words, the actual sound of his voice after so long, especially like this when I’ve not been thinking about him or that part of my past at all, at least for quite some time. It often mystifies me how the human brain actually works, recalling minute details of momentary situations, conversations or amusing, even childish sounds, long believed forgotten simply from re-watching a TV show from a decade ago. Odd things trigger even odder memories as if a switch, an electric current had been flicked on and pulsates my amygdala to my hippocampus, lighting up my cerebrum and temporal lobes like an all singing all dancing Christmas tree on acid. For example, at the start of each episode, there is the Home Box Office or HBO logo screen with white noise that turns off, whenever I saw that I always used to sing “The Simpson’s” as it triggered off that memory in my head and Matt always used to complain that it had nothing to do with The Simpson’s and I was but a fool and one step away from a crazy person. I can hear Matt’s voice even now, chastising my silliness and childlike behaviour, as if it had happened only moments ago.
Mind you, watching DVD’s of Six Feet Under is not the only time I hear Matt’s voice echoing around my old spasm chasm of a head, nope, every time I see a Volkswagen Beatle the chances are I’ll hear his spitting out the words ‘Slug bug, punch Herbie’ as we both used to proffer as fast as we could when out and about as a couple. Our rule was that both nationalities if the game had to be said in full before a punch or indeed a slug could be launched and contact made. Yes, I remember this each time I see one of those cars even to this day and catch me on a good day and I’ll even admit to saying those words to myself and perhaps even more occasionally I’d level with you that I’m keeping score. Perhaps that isn’t odd to you, although if I told you that sometimes Matt even wins and spots more Herbie’s than I, you’ll think it’s time to send in the men with the white coats with a jacket for me that has the straps and buckles at the back!
© 2013 Copyright to Jason Shaw
Oh and in other news, I start a new job tomorrow - it'll be the first time doing a conventional 9 to 5 Monday to Friday job for many a year and I am rather anxious about it. One part of me is reticent and actually disappointed with myself. You see, it almost seems like I'm turning my back on my ambition, my dreams of making a living with this writing malarkey. However, another part of me knows that I don't really have any other option, I could make money writing and short of selling my body on the streets, I have no choice than to re-enter the world of the working people and conventional employment. Still you know what they say, as one door closes, another one (slams shut in your face!)......