(For that, the essay body is prelude to the footnotes)
I haven’t written about me in a long time. Of course I don’t mean “Me,” the woman on Doctor Who. I mean just me, Sean.
As for my life, there’s nothing worth writing home about, but maybe you’d like to see me through a blogging lens. For a blog interview, what would the lovely Me ask me? Me from Doctor Who, I mean. That overly long-lived lady.
Me: Hullo. Are you male?
Sean: Isn’t it interesting how we Celts go in for bi-sexual names? I worked with a man who’s name tag read Shirley, at college the man who ran the physical education equipment room was named Beverly, and of course I share a name with the actress from Bladerunner, Sean Young.
"As it happens, I’m proud to be male. —Well, not exactly proud, I mean I was merely born this way, but I might just as well be proud, since there’s no changing it, —well, you can if you have some money and you’re determined, but, well, don’t go there. Just don’t."
The above was me channeling the tenth doctor. I liked him. Wasn’t it awful when he was all torn up and said, “I don’t want to go” and then, of course, he had to regenerate into another body? Now I know why the eleventh doctor was the torn up “raggedy man” beloved by a young girl. Poor girl, I grieved.
Me: Do you cry when innocent companions of the doctor meet their end?
Sean: No. See answer to first question. Well, Ok, if I am binge watching when a companion moves off this mortal plane then, well, I don’t watch any more that day. Won’t. Can’t. But, —Oy! Let me tell you—back in my day? I can remember a companion saying goodby and then skipping gaily down a nice English country lane. None of this awful ending stuff.
Me: Binge watch?
Sean: No. I like to make my series last, and I have a life, but the sole exception is Doctor Who: He, I mean she, I mean, the doctor is so popular the library puts the DVD on a one-week loan. But hey, binging on that “person” with his/her two hearts is fun.
Me: Tragedy or comedy?
Sean: For my blog? I guess mostly serious, after harkening to the advice of the closest thing to an essayist I read as a boy: Province newspaper columnist Eric Nicol, author of some funny books. He liked doing his serious, citizenship, “save the world” columns, but for his final column, his summing up, he had a warning: Don’t do any humorous columns. He said “once the public hears your jester bells tinkling,” they won’t pay attention to your serious stuff. Such a pity. Say, do you think that’s changed?
Me: …no answer…
Sean: I can relate. The previous columnist was Jack Scott, whom my grade five teacher, Mr. Thompson, really liked. Jack used to wonder, as he typed his “save the world” pieces, if there was anybody out there reading. Anybody? Hello? One day he dashed off a piece about picking blueberries up on Mount—Mount X, I better not blab the real name—Next day there was a long line of cars edging up the sole mountain road. Every car carrying a hopeful bucket for berries.
Myself, I write serious speeches to deliver at my toastmasters club. One day, for a quick topic, I did one on the joys of carefully mixing your breakfast cereal. Result? A nice couple from another club have been telling me for years that is their favourite speech of mine, and how they still mix their cereal. Glad to be of help, says I. I can save the world some other time, says I.
Me: You’re so naturally funny.
Sean: Ya, in real life. Not sure whether I should be funny on my blog, though. I mean, what would Eric Nicol say?
Me: What did Eric say? Besides what you said, I mean.
Sean: He said it is not a good idea to put lots of man-hours into learning how to be funny on the page. Now that television is in colour, that’s where people get their laughs.
Me: That was before computers. Now there’s lots of screens. With print. Like on a page.
Sean: What do you think?
Me: Why ask me? With a center-of-the-world name like Me you can bet I don’t feel any need to be apprehensive about measuring up to others, nor be worried about life in general, nor do I have any ego-need to put people down. No tension-need for laughter. Maybe I still do laughter from being surprised, but that’s about it. I’m happily learning to appreciate beauty, just now, but really, I don’t focus on comedy.
Sean: Oh. That’s all I can say: “Oh.” You’ve lived such a long time, Me.
Me: Goodby, Sean.
Sean: Goodby, Me.
After the thirteenth “the doctor” has been announced,
after I did The New Doctor Who in February of 2017
~Shall I do humour?
~I guess Eric Nicol was “out of community” when he died, with a small, small funeral. Shall I be enraged or sad? Here’s a link to remembering him.
~Here is a link to a young man who, like Me, is “out of community” but, unlike her, is trying hard not to be “out of empathy.” In his case, his condition is because he moves over the globe so much. Here is a quote of how he copes:
I always prioritize making at least one deep friendship in each place I visit (ideally more of course), because I have seen the dangers of ignoring the human aspect – I have met a couple of long-term travellers who simply lose the ability to empathize with other people, because they never get the chance to care for anyone for long enough. I never want this to happen to me, and go out of my way to try to really get to know and help people so there is always some human connection, and that I perhaps leave a place better than how I found it.
But I actually miss routines a lot. I have to essentially look for a new supermarket that has what I want, new friends that I can confide in, a nice walking or jogging path, a good regular social event to attend, a place with great food, every single time I move somewhere. Sometimes I really wish I could have these things more easily accessible and not be constantly searching for them.
By the end of the time that I live in a place, the guy I get coffee from recognizes me and gives me a nice smile, or the weekly party I go to has the same familiar faces who wave at me… and then I have to go. It takes time to build these kinds of little nice parts of your routine that so many people take for granted. For me it's such a novelty to be able to say somewhere that I'll have “my usual” order…