It should be noted: SPOILERS AHEAD!
I’m watching the 2nd season of “Orange is the New Black”.
It’s one of those dramas that really has it all: great acting, wonderful writing, awesome settings, and so forth. Netflix definitely has a gem on their hands (including House of Cards).
But as I was watching episodes 5 and 6 of the new season, I begun to realize why I love this show so much. Two years ago, I broke up with my boyfriend. He was a good man with a lot of good qualities, but I had a lot of shit going on in my life. Sure, he wasn’t perfect, but a lot of it had to do with me. I just didn’t know what the fuck I wanted.
Hell, I still don’t know what I want. I’m hoping to get into some therapy and figure that shit out. Back then, however, it made things really hard between the two of us.
I see the same dynamic happening between Piper and Larry (the main character and her fiance’).
There’s a scene in Episode 5 “Low Self-Esteem City” where Piper calls Larry to reconnect after a long time of no-talking. He’s outside the prison walls walking home from hanging out with a friend, and she’s stuck inside only with news of what’s going on inside. Her world is a world he’ll never know or understand, which was pretty much made clear in season 1.
This season though, this phone call, really it brought it home for me.
I called my ex a few weeks ago because, no matter what anyone says, he can be a good influence on my life. We just have to be honest with one another about what we want out of this.
Anyway, back to the phone call, I had to tell him about my life: the way it seems like I cannot get a handle on things; the gambling addiction that both my parents and I suffer from while living with one another; my inability to keep a job; and the things about my family that screams “dysfunctional.”
He had great things to tell me about him moving on: fixing his kitchen; meeting new people; piecing his life together after the break up. He’s got good people watching out for him, even though they have their own issues from time to time. But it’s obvious they’re there for him when he truly need them.
I feel like he’s Larry, out in the world living a life, while I’m stuck in a prison where everyone watches out for themselves, trying to wait for the end (“Prison ends,” Piper tells Brook; I can only hope the same goes for my situation).
Note: I do not mean to sound inconsiderate of my friends and family. I especially appreciate my best friend and niece being there for me lately. But my living situation, and family, are not the typical idea of dysfunctional. We’re special. We make the Sopranos look normal.
In episode 6 “You Also Have Pizza,” Larry comes to visit Piper in prison. She tries to reconnect with him by the same, usual way they talked to one another, but Larry wasn’t having it. After he asked her to do something that would jeopardize her stay, she tells him he “cannot be the moon,” meaning he shouldn’t use her situation to put him in the spotlight (as he had in season 1).
Larry becomes quite upset at this and he leaves. Before he does, however, he compares her to the sun and that at least people can walk on the moon. “People burn before they can even reach the sun,” he says as he storms off.
I am a lot like Piper. I try to connect with people, be close with them, make something out of my life, but I somehow self-sabotage my happiness. I am the sun, but everything burns before I can reach it.
My ex doesn’t want to use me to put him in the spotlight, but I feel like I have burdened him with a pain to bear. It’s complicated without getting into his life and I prefer not going there for his sake. Yet I burned him, badly.
I’m probably being self-conceited as usual, which only makes the sun comparison worse (as if I think I’m the center of the universe… err, galaxy). But it doesn’t make it less disconcerting for me. I’m scared this is who I am: a ruiner of lives, my own and anyone else who gets in my way.
Or do I even matter?
“In the macro sense, no.
“You’re the one cheerio in the bulk box of ‘Life,’ but you fuckin’ tickle me, so I think [you]… matter.”
– Nicky Nichols (played by Natasha Lyonne)