february 17, 2000
Tonight’s er was very…depressing. I won’t get into all the inky details, but it was. I talked to Noel online today…What a sweety. I wonder if he likes me! Well, we’re supposed to get lots of snow tonight. We’re hopin’ for a snow day! Well, gtg.
february 17, 2022
I used to watch ER every single Thursday with my mom when I was in middle school. I loved Dr. Green and Nurse Hathaway and recorded episodes on VHS tapes when I couldn’t be home to watch them. The episode on February 17th, 2000 was depressing, but it’s the previous weeks that I still remember in vivid detail. It involved a stabbing of one of my favorite characters—a medical student named Lucy who I now realize had her whole life still ahead of her—and some quality dramatic irony. While the rest of the hospital celebrated Valentine’s Day, Lucy and her resident, Dr. Carter, laid on the ground inside a patient room and stared at each other from either side of a gurney.
The episode completely gutted me. I can picture it, still, so clearly. I had to leave to go somewhere as soon as it ended, and I remember being so stunned I couldn’t move—like it was all real.
I would never watch ER today. 2022 Molly avoids death and grief and suffering in entertainment at all costs. Jake has a queue of movies and shows he knows he has to wait to watch without me. Together, we watch people fall in love or laugh and if we touch something that starts to feel stressful, I Google the ending right there on the couch to make sure it’s going to turn out okay. If it isn’t, I leave the room.
Has this changed in me or have I just learned to set better boundaries for what I know has always been true about myself? It’s something I like to consider about more than just my cinematic intake.
How have I changed? What caused it? What motivated it? What’s there beneath the surface? If I chip away and look closely, what will I discover?
More questions to ask. Which, again, never feels like such a bad place to start (or end).