LUANNE: How do you not cry?
HANK: Well, instead of letting it out, try holding it in. Every time you have a feeling, just stick it into a little pit inside your stomach and never let it out.
LUANNE (trying it): Are you supposed to have a pain under your rib?
HANK: Yes. That’s natural. The body doesn’t want to swallow its emotions. But now you go ahead and put that pain inside your stomach too.
LUANNE: I think it’s workin’, Uncle Hank. I feel sick, but not sad.
– King of the Hill, “Luanne’s Saga”
I’ve been sleeping on the broken-down couch in front of the TV every night for the last year. One day about 18 months ago, the person I was seeing got up, took a shower and went home; and all of a sudden, sleeping in the bed alone was just too much.
I was also in the middle of my deep depressed place, and on the couch in front of the TV was my safe place. All my friends kept me company there and soothed me after it got dark: Peggy Hill, Blossom, Niles Crane, Dorthy Zabornak, Sam Malone. They kept me in a level, fuzzed zone where my brain didn’t have to think about anything but jokes. As long as I was still awake and watching TV, then it wasn’t the next day yet and I didn’t have to get up and face the real world again.
But the couch hurts and I’m feeling stronger, so I thought I’d give the bed another try. It was so dark and quiet. It felt so amazing to stretch out across the mattress instead of squnching up with a hip falling between the couch cushions and a crick in my neck.
I lay there for a minute feeling so comfortable and relaxed. One cat was spooning me and the other was chewing my hair. This could work!
And then I thought about Boo, and about Boy 1 and Boy 2, and eHarmony guy, and what I want my life to look like, and whether I should quit trying to have romantic relationships, and whether I should try to quit giving a shit about anything at all. And I thought about Lost Boy, and I thought about suicide, and I thought about driving across country, and I thought about my family, and I thought about living alone in a cabin in the woods. I thought about “a walk in the woods” being right outside the back door. And I thought about living out of a van. And I wondered how I’d get rid of the condo. And I thought about writing. And I thought about New Year’s Eve. And I thought about being alone. And I thought about being old alone. And I worried about money. And I worried about what it would be like to quit my job. And I worried about what the consequences would be if I really did the things I wanted to. And I worried about men and I worried about me and I wondered why I’m so bad at being a woman and why I’m so bad at being grown and I worried about my cats and I worried about my mom…
And I then I got up, laid down on the couch and turned on the TV. Shhh. Shhh. Quiet now. Yep. Yep. Yep. Mmmhummm.
- My Sunday School class
- Fingernail polish
- Helping people
- XM First Wave
- Exploring and playing in the outdoors
- Old TV sitcom and cartoon reruns
- Giving hope
- My blue blanket
- Blinky, lighty things like Lava Lamps and Christmas lights
- Running sound for events
- “The Simpsons” scene paying tribute to Hayao Miyazaki
- The “King of the Hill” scene where Luanne jumps on the trampoline with Buckley’s angel
- “The Office” scene with the “Seasons of Love” parody bidding farewell to Michael
- “The Office” scene where Jim pops Dwight’s Fitness Orb
- When Dan Uggla got scared by a captured bat during a Braves’ game last year
- Ice cream cones
- Garlic toast
- Making people laugh
- Diet Coke
- Watching it rain
- Bodies of water
- Krispy Kremes