Dearest Rachel –
Among the piles of clothing that filled the sunroom once upon a time, there were some Christmas presents that you never got the chance to enjoy. There was the odd item that didn’t arrive in time, since you had ordered them for yourself (it was a standing agreement that if you found or heard about something you liked, you would order it and inform me about it, so I could receive and wrap and give it to you, as you hated surprises. All of which is probably a topic in and of itself some other day) within a timeframe that couldn’t be met. Others were just not used because the situation in which they would best be worn hadn’t come up – three weeks isn’t that long, after all.
I don’t remember which category this fell in. In fact, when I came across it, I had to ask Daniel if it was meant to be his or yours. He assured me that it was yours, and since it was raining the day I spotted it and asked him about it, I claimed it as my own on your behalf.
I don’t really need to tell you about Peepachu, that little stuffed mascot from the GT Live channel, since you were the one that ordered this cap for yourself. But I don’t know if you recalled the little mascot on the back:
That there, if my memory serves me correctly (and I’ll admit to having my doubts) is a drama llama. I don’t recall it as a character or item on the GT Live channel, but I certainly recognize what it is and what it’s for.
I was first introduced to the concept from a comic book character; a psionic superhero that I will refer to as “Mindfreak,” from the Empowered series. Just as she’s facing the possibility of death, she’s instructed by a colleague to calm down, “drop the drama, and hold on!”
Since you always hated spoilers, I’m not going to tell you how this turned out. All you need to know is that this was my first exposure to the ‘drama llama;’ although in practice, it read to me like an exotic hypermodification of the term ‘to beat a dead horse.’
Now I know I’ve nudged at the fourth wall several times before, so I guess there’s no harm in me tapping at it again. I’m well aware but there are probably some people reading these letters that are living vicariously through me. After so many years of relative calm, my life suddenly has enough drama to share with whoever wants any; because what story is of any interest without drama?
Well, it may make for a good story, but it does not make for a pleasant life. I seriously do not understand people who fill their lives with drama. That is absolutely no way to live; most of us seek to have a peaceful life, and drama is just a very antithesis of peaceful. Even metaphorically, our language acknowledges this. Consider WWII: history literally refers to the European and the Pacific theater to describe the two fronts of the war.
So why are there people who seek out drama in their own lives? Well, I don’t know any of them personally; we live as far away from both coasts – and therefore both entertainment capitals of the nation – as it is possible, but I have a basic theory. And to be fair, it’s not very far removed from the question of why people make war: they figure there is something to be gained by it, and that something is worth whatever the risk of the drama or the war might be.
Now, I can understand the concept of making war in order to capture territory. Although history generally proves that the price in men and materials isn’t worth it (WWI is a prime example of this), there have been times when a nation gets lucky, and obtains a great deal of land With a minimal expenditure of blood and treasure (consider Manifest Destiny and the Mexican American war). And as with all long shots, like the lottery or lawsuits, it’s those big payoffs that encourage so many others to take the risks despite the fact that the odds are not really in their favor.
Drama is the same thing, just written on a smaller – in fact, individual – scale; but it’s one that surrounds you and everyone that comes in contact with you. Eventually, those that prefer a peaceful life peel away from you (because who wants to deal with that alongside their own life and their own troubles? Yes, I know about you and… well, I’m not going to mention their names for the sake of protecting them, but I dare say that was different. Those girls needed someone, and you made an effort to be that someone), and you wind up surrounded by like-minded drama queens, creating a perfect storm of drama. It’s the stuff reality TV is made of; it’s the foundation upon which Los Angeles is built… at least, until the Big One hits.
As a ridiculous aside, much as I wish that life didn’t work this way, and people would never have bothered to keep up with the Kardashians (I can at least take comfort in the fact that Jersey Shore is a long forgotten thing), I must confess that their clan’s paterfamilias (can I still call Bruce that, now that she’s Caitlyn?) is probably exactly what California deserves as governor, especially if you considered democracy as a representative form of government. I mean, who better to represent California (at least in the eyes of everybody outside of the state) than some gender-crossed celebrity? Like Arnold Schwarzenegger before him/her, it’s just the apotheosis of what California seems to be, or at least aspires to be. Admittedly, I know nothing of her platform, but the state can do/has done/is doing worse, so…
All of which returns to my theory. Caitlyn Jenner and the rest of the Kardashians serve as those big winners that everybody else longs to be. Surround yourself with enough drama, and you too can be rich and famous, with each of those attributes adding to the other in an endless feedback loop of wealth and fame! And who wouldn’t want all the wealth and fame in the world?
And all it will cost you… is everything.
You don’t have friends anymore, you have an entourage, consisting of all manner of people who want to be like you, who might just claw you out of your top spot as the king (or queen, or both) of the hill. You don’t have confidants, you have the camera. Everybody knows you, but you don’t know anybody.
If that’s the life you want, well, congratulations. Enjoy it in the best of health: you’re gonna need it.
As for me, maybe obscurity is a little underrated after all. Maybe I need to embrace peace and quiet and tranquility.
Now if I could only find it.