Sunday, April 18, 2004

The L Word.

This is a Showtime series that I chanced upon in my time surfing and I've been reading the transcripts to this show.
Now, what exactly does this, a lesbian TV series have anything to do with me? No, not the arousal factor (though that may be the most obvious reason at the that I say: "get your head out of the gutter"). There's a storyline in the series that strikes a (rather discordant) chord in my heart. It's a simple tale of love and loss. And I think I'll try write about it here.

Jenny and Tim are engaged. Tim lives in the city and Jenny leaves the hometown and joins him there. Jenny meets Marina. Much attraction ensues and we all know what's to come.

I was there in Tim's shoes a long time ago. And since then, the idea of the L word has always been a hang up for me. I didn't understand it and I never got it and it hurt like hell. I mean, I know that losing anyone to anyone else, male or female, hurts. It's loss that comes from love that burns a hole in your heart that gnaws at you...and there are times that it seems that it'll never heal. But I think that a loss of love to someone that you're not even in league with takes that pain and brings it into a world that adds dimensions to the hurt that you've never dreamed of.
Now what do I mean by "not even in league"? I guess losing my (then) girlfriend to another girl really hurt because I didn't understand it. I didn't understand why and I really didn't get it. I felt rather inadequate and that was compounded by the parting shot that she left me with in a (in hindsight, rather ignorant) bid to make me feel better. She said "I guess going out with a girl was the only way that anyone was going to measure up to you..." which got me thinking that I was probably just only as good as the next girl, which put a whole lot of disturbing thoughts in my head.
Did she mean that a relationship with a girl was more fulfilling than a relationship with a guy? Was I doomed forever to be in love and relationships that would mean less to my partner than if she discovered the "joys of lesbian love"? (Wow...that sounds so pornographic) Was I then doomed to just playing second fiddle to any girl that I was dating till the right gal came along?
Gah...that was a year of hang ups. And a year and a half before I got out of the funk that I found myself spiralling deeper and deeper into. I found myself at once fascinated and yet also repulsed by the idea of lesbianism and I strove to find out more about it. (And no, not in the sleazy way...)
I found out that lesbians were normal people too...with hang ups and hurts and pains and yes, also a whole lot of screw ups. I found that people just fall in love with people, gender be damned. And I started to be at peace with myself. Yes, it still hurt and yes, I think that I would be totally obliterated if I lost my wife to another woman, but I think that in the 7 years that followed, I learned a whole lot more about people who weren't the same as I am and I think I'm a whole lot better for it.
That said, I've begun reading the transcripts of The L Word, following the exploits of Jenny, Tim and Marina. There's a whole load of other subplots going on in there that I don't really pay attention to but then again, it's only the JTM storyline that actually interests me. It's weird now to see the pain from the outside and it's nice to see how far I've come...but the dull ache in my heart and the fear that it brings really tells me that I've still got some ways to go...


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