Monday, June 28, 2010


Yesterday, I found Marley staring at the big LCD TV in my living room with a worried look on her face. "Do you like TV more that people?" she asked.

That I did not expect. "What?"

"I mean, is a TV, like, a substitute for a person, or human contact? I've never had my own one."

I saw where she was going with this. "It can be. But not by choice, at least for me it wasn't. When you're lonely it can be a good distraction, or an escape. And sometimes, I don't know, when things are at their worst, the people on tv might be the only ones you see or hear."

She frowned. "That's really sad. Then again, when I think about all that time I spent in that tiny room . . . I mean, I don't want to think about that. Maybe it would have been good to have something to focus on."

"What about your drawings?" I asked.

"That's about all I did," she answered. "But I didn't always have the stuff to do it with."

I tried not to reflect on that too long, so I just asked, "Is this about that guy Suzanne's working on?"

"Yeah. He got the big screen TV last week, now he hardly does anything but watch it and go to work. And of course he'll never meet anyone if that's all he does. She's afraid he's trapping himself."

"Well, I wouldn't panic yet," I assured her. "He just got it, it's brand new, he's gonna go through a period of initial amazement. Tell her to wait it out for a week or two, it should be easier for him to tear himself away from it by then."

"OK. I just he's not too far gone by then."

"He'll be fine. No one can replace human contact with a TV forever. Seeing and hearing people on a screen never is enough. If he starts talking to them, that's when I'd get worried."

"What about when you yell at the announcers when you're watching a game?" she asked.

"Um, that's different."


"Just humor me, please?"

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