It's October. My official Favorite Month of the Year. The time of crisp apples and wearing jackets. The aroma on the open air is one of spice and woodburning fireplaces, burning wood. Halloween and little trick-or-treaters. The temperature is dropping, and because I'm here - really here -for the first time in almost 30 years, I should be turning hand-springs of delight.
So why am I so effin' blue?
I'll tell you why. MAD MEN. I've taken to going up into the studio over the garage after my 14-hr-working-both-EST-and-PST days and catching up on the EMMYS' latest darling. It's a well written, very well directed show about the hip-slick-n-cool ad industry in early '60's New York. Great story lines. Greater actors and actresses (finally an actress of today who could be one of Alfred Hitchcock's muses: January Jones), and pretty damn buttoned up as far as art direction. But the overall effect it's had on me is one of searing depression.
The main character is a deeply flawed but obscenely arrogant mystery motherfucker who has, it is intimated, left his true identity in the dust and stolen the name "Don Draper" from a dead soldier he knew from the Korean War. Intriguing, no?
Except, I have lived and worked in this industry for nearly 16 years now, and I've seen my fair share of subterfuge. And it never is as pretty as what I'm looking at on AMC. I'm sorry, but hey: I know what it's like to live a double life - and live it against the backdrop of the seamy underbelly of the ad industry. For Christ's sake, I changed my name - legally - and transformed myself (I would use Transmogrified, but it seems too ghastly) just before grabbing the brass ring of a plum career that kids coming out of Art Center would happily slice open my jugular for.
The thing is: Don can't stand what a phony he is. Over the course of two seasons, it's beginning to gnaw at him from the inside out. He can't stand who he is, so he acts even more badly, which makes him feel even worse about himself so he acts even more badly. His self-loathing rolls off the screen like a poisonous fog.
You see where I'm going with this?
I'm not proud. Or maybe the accurate thing to say is: I want to be proud. Pride in reverse, right? But I want to feel hope. And I want to make a living. Why must those two things war with each other? Why can't I just take things for what they are: I moved 3000 miles away from my real home and my cherished daughter to take care of East Coast family business while trying to get my feet under me again. Of course I'm going to be a little depressed. I just didn't bank on it hitting me this soon.
But what to do? Eat another Klondike 100 calorie Fudge Popsicle? Take up smoking again? Maybe I'll just call my sister who lives here and always makes me laugh. I'm certainly not laughing when I catch sight of myself in any reflective surfaces these days: It's going to be tough to come back from what this year has done to me, looks-wise. So you can add that to my list of things to be depressed about.
Oh well. At least I didn't lose my dog. My dear friend Jonathan who's been in my life longer than anyone save my mother and my sister, just lost his darling puppy, Liza Mae, last week and, you want to talk about depressing? I got nothing to complain about. But i'm still pretty down in the dumps. I guess I'll stay down til I go back up again.
I just hope it's still October when I emerge from the doldrums. Meanwhile, it's raining outside. And so to bed to listen to the drops hit my window pane. Come sleep. I welcome you.