Kristie had done almost everything one can do in order to avoid a spoiler. She ended old friendships, boarded up doors and windows, and sacrificed a cat for Satan. I’m certain she would have killed a goddamn human being in order to preserve the secrets of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. All of this within a forty-eight hour period of the show’s Black Friday release on Netflix. Yet, she underestimated one depraved and shameless cash hog: the t-shirt industry. As she browsed cyber deals on Groupon, she discovered that either a single asshole or, most likely, a group of assholes working in unison had already printed t-shirts with the final four words of the show—the final four words Amy Sherman-Palladino had been alluding to for over a decade. While Kristie processed her trauma, a familiar sadness welled up inside of me.
I’ve logged many miles on that slow road we call mental illness. It manifests itself as depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, etc. I started young. I was lethargic, isolated, and possibly gay. I’m not gay, but back then it was hard to tell. I was all goth in the late nineties, and, in the late nineties, all goth kids seemed a little gay. By my sophomore year of high school, I had turned to Christ for help and spent my high school years developing a sense of guilt and shame that would overwhelm my thoughts and determine my decisions for years. At Berea College, I soon realized that Jesus had managed to get himself so wrapped up in checking gay men’s balls for the residue of anal sex, that he didn’t have time to help me find inner peace. So, I turned to weed, alcohol, and the camaraderie of sinners. They delivered the only relief I had experienced for years, yet, on their own, they were unable to mend the damage years of religion had dealt to my soul. So came a ten year journey across four therapists, each helping and hurting in their own ways.
During this journey, I developed a cocky, care-free persona that revealed almost nothing of my sadness and fear of the world. That’s how I wanted it. That’s how I was—a bit of a douche—when Kristie walked into my life. We held each other and the mass of bullshit I had accumulated in order to protect myself proved too much for us to carry, so I began to let it go and reveal a real person. Broken, confused, and in need of many epiphanies, I fell in love with her. Together, we mended each other’s souls from all of the little traumas of normal lives.
Although I had healed, the sadness where it all seemed to begin was still present. I could manage it. On its own it’s not depression or anxiety. It’s not even shame or guilt. It’s a kind of hunger that I don’t know how to satisfy. It’s a desire for meaning in a good life. In a day filled with Gilmore Girls, decorating for Christmas, wine, and the Comedy Central Roast’s of Rob Lowe and Justin Bieber, a part of me remained sad. Not sad, but hungry. Hungry for what? Wisdom? Spiritual truth? God? Although I’m uncertain, I have to say that it’s none of these things. I know whatever it is, I’ve accidentally satisfied it at times. Now, I have to pinpoint it and build a part of myself around it—not all of me, just enough of me to feel satisfied.
I am empty and in need of god. In the absence of god, I write.