Lament

In times of sickness and trauma, my first instinct is always to watch cop/detective shows.  I don’t know when this urge started, but there was this sense that no matter what evil or illness existed in the world, Jerry Orbach or Shane Vendrell or Elliot Stabler or Michael Westen would fix it.  Especially if I was home sick — if someone was robbed in the first few minutes of Law and Order, I knew that, even if I fell asleep, when I woke up, Sam Waterston would make it all okay.  After I broke up with Aaron, my boyfriend of six years, I watched SVU in my friend Jim & Ian’s room because Det. Benson was a comforting presence.  And three nights before my wedding, I was up at 2 a.m. watching The Shield because I was nervous and Dutch Wagenbach always makes me feel safe when things were stressful and scary.

But today’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, and last week’s at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado, not to mention the near-constant stream of fatal shootings by police, generally against black men, it’s hard to watch cop shows — especially The Shield (sorry Shane, Dutch, Lem and Ronnie*) — and root for the Men With The Guns.

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Idiot Box: ‘What We Talk About When We Talk About Michael Westen’

What We Talk About When We Talk About Michael Westen

You are only a handful of dress shirts, but you are a different man each time you wear them.  Walk, accent, tie or no tie.  It’s only when you’re stripped bare that I recognize you at all.  These days, you’re naked less and less often until I have forgotten all but entirely what you look like.

Florida heat has scorched our brains in a way mint and rum cannot fix.  We drink anyways.  My CIA contact says I should let the ghost of you go, but yogurt won’t ransom my heart back from Brennen. 

Ours is not a solution of bullets or gasoline.  We cannot be fixed with a quick wit or a fast car, a doctored cell phone and a stockpile of C4.  You’re lying low with fake papers in hand; even if I could catch up to you, I can’t say I’m sorry in any language you might speak.  Call your mother.  Maybe she knows what to do.

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