Recently I have had the privilege of continuous power and good streaming quality at my house. Due to this, I have been able to continue watching HBO’s Girls , what some describe as the college generations Sex and the City. For those that don’t know me that well, I rarely, if ever, even have the time to watch tv, so this has been a bit of a bubble of interesting indulgence. One of the protagonists, Hannah, is an aspiring writer as she hops from one bland NYC job to the next [don’t worry, I am decidedly not an aspiring writer, though my Moroccan friend Zainab is convinced that I should be “an actress like Angelina Joli because I have a good poker face when I’m being sarcastic… which is approximately tous les temps]. In the most recent episode, a college acquaintance of Hannah’s published a book about her boyfriend’s suicide, even though she is a rubbish writer. Hannah bemoans the flagrant ignorance of her ex-camarade, while also lusting after the life of her situation—after all, trajedy makes for good material beyond the random gossip and remarks of the day.
This is my question then, to write, to express, need we have life happen to us? Do we equally happen to life? Then what is the rest of existence, the situations that don’t fit in the tragic or triumphant category, the moments that we so secretly have power to define and struggle… mediocrely, over? But we love that extremism, pushing a moment to one side or another so we can see and feel it sans a veil of ambivalence. The old adage says that absence makes the heart grow fonder. But is it that, or simply time and memory working to smooth out the details in a similar way?
I’m better at asking questions than giving the answers, but I think I’ll throw the value of gray back at Hannah. My usual argument is that our monotonous and “average” moments show us how to value everything else, they give us our perspective. I have a story about last night, and I’m not going to tell you a single thing. Rather, it is a moment made gray not by monotony, but by mixes of perfects and nots. For now, I can think of the night as tipping on possibility, running the edges of known and unknown, perhaps finality, with the shimmy and shake of doubts and assurance. Here I am Hannah, writing about the simple gray moment and I refuse to let it fall, I want the uncertainty because maybe I’m timid to meet the folder I put I in. Either way, I’ll learn and grow, mildly tragic or epically stupendous in decisions made or passed upon. Right now, I’m happy to wait before the present that comes with time. Not running away, but life in gilted grays before it evolves into technincoulour—after all, colour photos aren’t necessarily better, they just have different depth and focus.