Too Many Eyes

If you died my world would blur. I wouldn’t know what a tree was.

-Adam to Hannah in Girls, Season 3

This is a wonderful statement of love and grief. The other striking moment is when Hannah’s mother tells her (in season 3), while her own mother is dying in the hospital, that Hannah deserves more than Adam, who is starting to slip away at the first sign of success—his role on Broadway. Hannah’s mother tells her that Adam is “odd.” That Adam is “angry and uncomfortable in his own skin.” That it is not Hannah’s job to spend her life “socializing” Adam like a “stray dog.” And this is when Adam is at his best. Hannah rejects her mother’s warning, who is starting to pay for her own marital denials, but Hannah knows it’s true. It’s not a harbinger, it’s anthropological. This is why it scares her. This is why she goes white. Because she is trying hard not to look.

Fear is what you already know. Horror is being too late. What is already there but still hidden. Like the anagram Rosemary makes out of the scrabble letters. Like the linen closet which is really a portal to the Castevets apartment. To Rosemary’s doom. She knows from the beginning what the names really mean, where the rooms really lead.

All semester subthemes emerged in my film class: the figure of the child, what happens to women who know the truth but ignore the truth because women are never believed, a trope so central to the horror genre it wouldn’t exist without it. That’s why Joan of Arc was important. That’s why she was dangerous. Because she didn’t care whether she was believed. Which is what faith is. But also how men destroy women.

There are moments when Adam brings back the Knight. Moon pallor like a young John Cusack, only Driver’s features are much more intense. A face like a jack rabbit + deer. Skin like a perfectly still glacial lake under moonlight. After years of avoiding the stupid show, I’m watching it backwards, in reverse, working from top to bottom, season by season, time traveling. Rewinding. Rescinding. Retracing the steps of the show’s culture. Watching faces go back to what they were—some better, some worse—like old movies of stars now dead. I guess I do everything this way. In order to know. To see. Thinking: Where did I go wrong. Where does everyone. It’s a retrospective approach, wanting the dust around cultural artifacts to settle. I think I avoid the limelight, trends, even when it comes to the timing of culture. Of what I’m willing to look at and when. The timing of thinking. Sometimes I don’t want to look at what everyone is looking at. Too many eyes at the same time. It feels pornographic. Maybe it’s the same reason I don’t like to be on stage. Sometimes I’m late to things. Sometimes I’m early. Sometimes I’m wrong. Sometimes I miss things completely.


Crossposted with Love Dog.

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