January 11th, 2021

everything ends

Everything is everything

Instead of responsibly chiseling away at a dramatically overdue, dire straits deadline I watched an episode of Six Feet Under while cooking/eating dinner, and ugh GOD I WAS NOT PREPARED. There's a character death that I'd forgotten happens relatively early in the final season (though of course it does--in a series about the long uglinesses of both life and death. Of course it does) and everything was awful and perfect.

All of these characters are awful people but good people but like, really, truly awful people. And nothing changes that--there's no purity to these moments, where in the face of death you're able to locate your goodness, mend your ragged edges, be there for each other. This guy just like--he does a shitty thing right before he dies (it takes a while, ERs are involved) and on his deathbed he does something even shittier. Which probably sounds a little grimdark and nihilistic to the point of vapidity but it's really not. It's just the feeling of sitting in an OR waiting room with a family not come together, people stewing in the ways all the pieces don't fit, and having to ride out the worst moment of your life--and worse, for it to all feel awkward.

But then this is tempered by all the characters who are courting goodness, reaching understandings, striving to be better than they were before. And then the beauty of having this intimately entangled but living-separate-lives ensemble cast is that there's a pulse to the whole superorganism, where the highest of highs for some happen simultaneous to the lowest of lows for others and it's just this gorgeous, terrible, awful, deeply uncomfortable ugly emotional whiplash and I love it, so, so much. Because narratively you want all of this to mean something but it can't and it won't and it will feel like shit. But nihilism's not the endgame. It's asking, where do you go, then? How do you hold this ugliness to your chest, and go? What do you do when this is something you just have to carry? Everything is wrong and everything is perfect.