Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Not Penny's Boat

I wasn't watching Lost last weekend, but I saw those three words on another program and my heart seized up instantly.  Warm tears pressed up behind my eyelids as I was jettisoned backwards in time to that horrible   day in the submerged Looking Glass station where Des and Charlie were desperate to turn off the jamming signal and help get their friends off the island.

That scene still wrenches my guts, watching Charlie seal the hatch against the explosion thereby sealing his fate.  Seeing Charlie, who was my second favorite after Hurley, realize that he only had seconds left to live and he chose to use those seconds doing everything possible to save his friends.  Charlie found a permanent marker as the chamber filled rapidly with seawater, he was scared for his friends more than for himself at that moment, and he wrote those three words on the palm of his hand, pushing it against the porthole until he was sure Desmond got the message.

Not Penny's Boat.

Oh I loved that show, I loved Lost second only to Buffy and way more than Star Trek and even Doctor Who.  I loved my visceral connection to the story that my friends and family still mock and I love how caught up in it all I get.

My other best friend Tess has a favorite memory of me, it was a Wednesday morning and I was in the cafe as per usual.  Tess came in for some breakfast and asked how I was doing and, according to her because I don't really remember, I looked at her with heartbreak in my eyes and incredulously informed her that "they killed Buffy".

I remember watching Buffy die and the shock that hit my system, I remember looking at Clyde and wailing that they just couldn't KILL Buffy Summers because they named the show after her.  Other than that, the details are still fuzzy.

This is on my mind today because I want some of that for myself, I want people to have that same visceral, emotional connection to my story and I want that very badly.  I want people to dress up like my characters on Halloween and name their children after people I created.  Any girl born in the late 60's named Miri has parents who understand me.  Perhaps these are not the loftiest of goals, but they are important to me in a way that is hard to describe.

But I will try, I think I want this because it is my only genetic legacy in a way.  I love my children deeply but they were not born of my body and they do not carry my blood.  One of the greatest sorrows of my life is that I was never able to have children, never able to experience that satisfaction of knowing that my essence will move forward with my heirs. I'm not saying that my kids were not shaped by me, that their actions were not influenced by me, that would be untrue and that is certainly a legacy I value.  I am saying that it is a devastating thing to know that natural selection has looked you over and taken a pass.

So none of their children will have my eyes or my golden palate or my frustrating impulsiveness and that grieves me deeply.  I poured that all into The Song of Solstice, I imprinted it with my DNA and it is my child in so many ways.  And like any good mother, I want that child to have a wondrous life, to go forward and be of the world, to spawn children of its own in order for me to live forever.

I want to know that I left something behind me, that time won't completely forget me because time is no longer on my side.


  1. Wonderful! I'm like that, too, about Charlie, about that scene, about my books. I do have a biological daughter, but I sure don't want to see people dress up like her on Halloween! My characters, YES!

    Thanks for a beautiful post. :)

    Marian Allen
    Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

    1. Thank you for loving Lost as much as I do :)