I am a Janey come lately to the Showtime series, Dexter. It’s about a serial killer who kills serial killers. He works in the forensics department of the Miami police department and assuages his need to kill by putting down the guilty. He is the way he is because of a childhood trauma. Over the course of the first season we learn more about that trauma and watch Dexter begin to become less of a sociopath and more of a person. One of the reasons I like this show is its style of visual narration. The intro clip is a great example of how they use music and well edited images to tell a story. The first time I watched the intro I thought it was a gimmicky way to gross the audience out a little. But on second viewing I realized that it was telling the story of Dexter’s compulsion. How even the most mundane tasks like brushing your teeth or tying your shoes remind him of his own rituals. I am anxious to get the second season now and have found out about an application called BitTorrent. It’s a peer to peer file sharing program. I am teaching myself how to use it so I can download and watch the 2nd season.
I know that I am odd, though many friends soften the word and call me unique. Flannery O’Connor said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd.” Perhaps there is something to that. One oddity of mine: I find something I like, it could be a song, a series, or even a food and it becomes important for me to maximize my enjoyment of it. Almost an obsession. To hear the song until I can close my eyes and play it in my head. To watch a series completely until I know the whole story. To have some specific food item daily. Some of those foods I’ve been addicted to for long stretches of time, even years. Others are short lived and pass in a few days or weeks. I used to require a specific drink from Starbucks (Tall, 4 pump, nonfat, no water, extra foam chai) every day, or I felt off. This went on for almost 2 years. I’ve only recently lost interest. I think it is peculiar or a quirk of mine to have phases like this. I mean, I was bothered if I couldn’t have my favorite drink, but now I don’t want it at all. For a long while I ate RiceChex with sliced banana and fat free milk every day. I took a break and switched to Frosted Shredded Wheat for a year and only recently returned to RiceChex. A month ago I wanted a FakeBacon and Lettuce sandwich every day for a week. I’ve done three months of oatmeal, the Irish steel cut kind that you cook for 20 minutes. I had it with chopped dried apricot, brown sugar and cinnamon, with a splash of cream on top. Great for winter. Right now I am off meat but into apples. I have at least one apple every day. I suppose we all need our little rituals and compulsions, something you do that gives you comfort. It’s part of being human. Perhaps because I have moved so often I make meaning out of repetition. There is little that is the same in my life from year to year. I am a chameleon, changing dramatically over time, to fit whatever place or life I have embraced. I truly value the few things that remain the same. The liturgy at church, the beignets at the Cafe du‘ Monde, the oak lined streets and Mardi Gras in Mobile. Even a favorite restaurant like the Dewdrop Inn back home whose chili cheeseburger is the standard by which I judge all others.In my case familiarity does not breed contempt, quite the opposite.