1.110 Going Back to the Light (That Must Never Go Out)

June 7, 2016


Moving. I’m doing it right now, and it it doesn’t get any easier any time it happens. It’s never a pleasurable experience. It rarely, if ever, goes down exactly as planned. It’s a nuisance, I hate it, and the primary reason I’m spending time writing about it at this very moment is as a means of distracting myself from packing my apartment.

Oh, make no mistake; I’ve totally rationalized writing about it as a means of getting ahead of the game. There’s so much to be done. There’s not enough time or money to do it all. But you’ve got a (mostly self-imposed) deadline to keep, soldier. Hey, you’ve got the dishwasher running and two loads of laundry going, so it’s not completely impeding the packing process, right? Seriously, I could really use the reassurance right now, reader from the future, because the anxiety is accelerating at an unhealthy rate.

For various reasons, I’m someone that’s packed everything up and moved frequently. It’s a combination of being a perpetual childless bachelor, a military veteran that’s also the child of a veteran, and a creative afraid to tie himself down in case an opportunity comes along that requires rapid egress. Being stationary has never been a luxury I’ve allowed myself. This being the case, I’ve developed a few little traditions that give me a sense of continuity as I get older. One of them has been rewatching Lost.

Going back to the island every time I relocate wasn’t exactly a ritual I deliberately planned in spite of the seemingly appropriate theme of the show. It started around season 4 when, incidentally, I started rewatching the show from the beginning to prepare for the season premiere after just moving to a new place. The same thing happened at the start of season 5 and again in season 6. I moved roughly a year after the show ended and felt the curious desire to rewatch it as a means of maybe grounding myself a little. This move will make the 7th(!) time the process has been initiated.

I should mention that I’m not really the type that regularly binge-watches television, let alone multiple seasons of one show. In general, there’s nothing inherently wrong with indulging. I just don’t have the attention span for it. Daredevil and Jessica Jones are recent exceptions, but there’s history to those characters that make the experience a bit more tolerable. Long teleplays typically benefit from more time being given to them, particularly on the character development front.

The character stories in Lost are what keep me coming back, with respect to the tropical motif convenient for a custom generally practiced around the warmer seasons.  I’ve found that with each subsequent viewing, I attach myself to a different character each time. It’s as if another tree becomes clear after being so focused on the forest that is the ensemble cast (see: everything i’ve written about the X-men). It’s a phenomenon that I kinda wish I hadn’t observed because now I’m anticipating it and there are only so many characters.

These individual threads are the primary driver of the series. The grand circumstance that brought them to the island and subsequent mysteries may have brought us to the island with them in the beginning, but the writers have consistently stated that these characters’ experience with the enigmatic setting is what Lost is really all about. Approaching it with this mindset makes revisiting the series a more pleasurable experience in spite of the often fair criticism the show has received.The show is not about the island. It’s about these flawed characters’ experience on it, and how it subsequently effected them on the other side. Yes, there are questions that will never be answered until another creative team returns to the story and puts their own spin on it, and that’s totally fine. Midichlorians: Never Forget.

Flash sideways to when I pulled out of Atlanta just after midnight this past Sunday en route to my new home in Florida. It occurred to me that there’s a bit of irony with this round of Losting. Through my emotional breakdown common to one leaving their home, I had to actively remind myself that the situation is kinda humorous.

I’ve moved to and from Atlanta multiple times, and in my heart consider it my home by choice rather than Columbus, Georgia, where the majority of my growing up took place. Over the last two and a half years of this recent tour of duty in A-town, my life was forever changed in many ways. A lot of it was health related, but there were other personal challenges I never anticipated would be a part of my life going in. They’re obstacles i’ll spend the rest of my life navigating.

The irony is that the place that seems to continuously draw me back is a major American city, and I’m moving to a substantially less populated beach situation to start the next, hopefully less tumultuous, chapter in my life. This is the reverse scenario experienced by the passengers of flight 815. What’s not dissimilar is that this chapter is defined most distinctively by the people that were there to go through it with me. They had their own various life changing experiences that were markedly more positive than my personal turmoil, but it was a period of shared growth just the same. I will miss them dearly. Assuming I’m not seduced by the gulf coast, I’ll surely “have to go back” at some point down the road. It’s my chosen home, I’m simplygoing on an adventure. Finding myself in a Rose and Bernard situation next time I swing through sounds like a desirable one to settle down into.

This sort’ve emotional attachment is what connects me to Lost. It’s cathartic and quite poetic to go back to the island every time my life goes into yet another phase of transition. I’m sure the bizarre dreams about being back there will begin soon after I get settled in my new residence, and hopefully it doesn’t involve a recurring series of numbers and protecting a vague light from being extinguished lest the world be destroyed. I wouldn’t put it past the A to be responsible for the apocalypse, though. We do it big like that. Namaste.


Versus The New Half-life is a satirical feature series documenting the experience of modern geek life beyond the 18-34 demographic. Are we simply nostalgia driven super-consumers refusing to embrace adulthood by indulging childhood fantasy or have the expectations of being an adult changed? Writer J. Aaron Poole over-analyzes various geek fandoms to explore common themes and appropriate behavior from limbo as an indubitable grown-up under the age of 40.

J. Aaron Poole is a 21st century writer, musician, and geeky thing liker. He is a member of the American Sociological Association with an academic interest in the relationship between media, technology, and modern culture. Currently residing in Fort Walton Beach, Florida by way of Atlanta, Georgia, he’s recently begun archiving his work at Station146.com. Aaron can be found making absurd comments on Twitter, PSN, and other social media platforms as @JAaronPoole.

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