Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Blow Up the TV

It's a good night to tell you about what I hate.

I hate the television.

"Were you watching something?" Mike asked as he walked into the room. Yes, as a matter of fact, I was. I was watching a stupid romantic comedy and I was curious about how it would end.

"No," I said. I know that he wasn't asking if I was watching TV, because we both could see that I was. He was asking if he could change the channel.

The menu tonight didn't include me, a horror flick. I hate horror movies. I don't need to be scared. I'm scared enough as it is. Every night, I check to make sure the front door is locked. Sometimes it isn't, especially when Nick has taken out the garbage. Nick didn't take out the garbage tonight, though I asked him, twice, but I'll still check the front door before I go into bed. Teddy walks downstairs with me. It helps.

The moment, after everyone else is asleep, when I walk into the foyer, flip the light, and look at the dead bolt, I imagine the handle turning ever so slightly as I watch it. Stephen King would be proud. Yes, I had to stop reading his novels too. They were just a little too good at what they did. What's down under the sewer grate? What's in the back of the closet? What is on the other side of that door? No, I don't want to watch another horror movie. I make an exception for horror comedy. 'Sean of the Dead' is one of my favorite movies. 'I Am Legend,' though, still tortures me, though Mike says it wasn't that scary, those crazy faces leaping out of the dark with their gaping mouths, the abyss lying down their deep throats.

No, I don't want to see his movie tonight, not ever. I don't even want to look at the cover.

Now, I have to either leave the room or turn my back and log onto the computer. I opted for Facebook on the computer. I couldn't hear the shared videos that I tried to listen to. Mike asked if I wanted him to put on the headphones. I did, but I wasn't willing to say it. I am not the alpha dog in our home, despite what my son might think.

But reading the rest of the Facebook posts didn't help either. It was the screaming. I can't stand the screaming overlaid with the music indicating fear and suspense. The music doesn't help. I'm particularly susceptible to the effects of music. It's why my jumbled mess on my iPhone throws me off so easily. It jumps from one type of music to another leaving me confused and frustrated. I really need to take the time to make playlists for it. Mike's movie doesn't leave me confused. It leads me down the blind alley of horror flicks. Without the screen to guide me, it's often worse, my own imagination taking hold and explaining the agonizing screams.

I try not to stay there, but focus on what I'm reading. I latch onto supportive and funny reposts, but I can't not hear the TV. The screaming, the breathing, even.

Finally, I put an audio book on in the kitchen and do a load of dishes. I really didn't plan to get up and do more work at 10:45 at night, but it helped. What I really need is a library, a room with comfy chairs whose walls are lined with books and art. I'd like to have a quiet room. We used to have a decent couch in the den, but these days, it's taken over with camping gear and the futon is broken in a half-upright, half-flat state. I worry that if I try to sit on it, I'll end up on the floor, jarring my back, and in any case, it isn't comfortable. Mike says he's going to fix it. I wonder if that will be after he mows the lawn, hangs my bulletin board, finishes building the railing on the back steps, and replanks the deck. No, he's not going to fix it yet he doesn't want me to throw it away and get a new one. I know he's overwhelmed, so I try not to bother him with it. It's why I let him take over the TV at night too. I know he needs a break.

I wish the TV could go off at some point. I can tell it isn't good for me, especially the incessant screaming of horror. Finally, when I hear the music from 'Lord of the Rings' I'm relieved and go back into the living room to spend a few minutes of quality time with Mike, me at the computer, him watching TV. It's a lovely scene, isn't it?

Oh, I hate the television.

Thank you for listening, jules

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