Issue #168 – “Oceanic Fix” – May 10th, 2010

-Viewers of the television show Lost come in three varieties. There are those who watched one episode out of curiosity, had no idea what the fuck was going on, and promptly gave up. There are those who watched from the beginning but got so confused and frustrated by season four that they angrily deleted the show from their DVR’s series recordings. And then there are those like me – hardcore, unabashed Lost nerds who watch entire scenes in slow motion to catch fleeting references and share message board theories with religious fervor. There are no casual fans of Lost. Either you don’t watch it at all or you’ve once considered getting a tattoo of the Numbers. And so, when the series finale airs next week, millions of us will no longer be able to get our Oceanic fix. The Island will be done with us even though we’re not done with the Island.

-One of the most amazing (and confounding) aspects of Lost is that there are about nine million fucking characters. Losties brace themselves whenever a new character appears onscreen because we know we will soon know them front, back, and sideways. It would not be an exaggeration to say that I know some of the main characters better than I do my own friends. I just found out my buddy’s parents got divorced over a year ago. But I can tell you exactly where and when Jack had his appendix out. Poor Jack.

-One reason a show like Lost won’t come around again any time soon is that watching it is actually a lot of work. You need to recall obscure details from five-year-old episodes in order to fully understand the new season. The fact is, today’s television viewers are lazy. Personally, I’d rather watch my screensaver than Jersey Shore. But, sadly, more people would rather watch reality TV than remember that the sailboat Sawyer took to Hydra Island is the same one Desmond used to compete in his race around the world.

-If there’s a bright side to Lost going off the air, it’s that I’ll stop spending so much damn money on it. From my BlackBerry wallpaper, to the $90 Dharma Initiative jumpsuit I wore for Halloween, to all the episodes I bought on iTunes, this show has cost me a fortune. There are non-monetary costs as well – like the hair loss I suffered in season two when my DVR cut off the crucial last thirty seconds of every episode, or all the valuable time I’ve spent on Lostpedia when I could have been, you know, talking to girls.

-I’m aware, of course, that some people fucking hate Lost – both because it’s such an absurd show at times, and because people like me won’t shut up about it. But one of the joys of being a fan is meeting kindred spirits. Finding out someone you know is also a Lostie is like running into someone from your hometown or meeting your biological parents for the first time. There’s so much to talk about at first that you don’t know where to begin. How Hurley is so fat after all this time is generally as good a place as any.

-For me, Lost has been so much more than just a source of entertainment and Facebook gossip. It’s also brought me closer to my mom. After all, I can always bond with my dad over the Yankees. And my sister and I can always discuss how annoying our parents are. But for mothers and sons, common interests are not always as easy to come by. For me and my mom, it’s Lost. She dutifully watches every episode and then calls to have me explain to her what the hell just happened. Unfortunately, yesterday was the last Mother’s Day of the Lost era. When we spoke, I asked my mom what we would talk about after the series finale. “Aaron,” she said, “I still don’t understand season one.” “Well then, Mom,” I replied, “we have to go back.”

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-Someone stopped me in the mall the other day and asked me to try a new hangover recovery detox drink. My first thought? That it would taste great with vodka.

-Fact: the guys who stick fliers underneath your windshield wipers are a species of mole people who have never actually been observed in the wild.

-“Why, yes, lovely lady whom I just picked up at the bar and brought to my apartment, I do have champagne. What’s that? You want me to open the bottle? No, no, you have to do that yourself.”

-Shrubs that smell like weed and shit are curiously popular in the landscaping community.

-My buddy Jeff took a day off work to go to Coachella a few weeks ago. Upon further discussion, I realized he took Monday, not Friday, off. I guess that’s another way to tell you’re getting old: when you take a day off at the end of a weekend trip in order to recover, instead of a day off at the beginning in order to start getting fucked up earlier.

-Why must surgeons spell orthopedic as “orthopaedic”? I get it; you’re better than me.

-Why are sushi restaurants the only ones that require you to write down your own order? And why do the tiny pencils they provide always seem like they were salvaged from an ancient bowling alley ushered unwillingly into the electronic age?

-I currently have a stray strand of floss stuck in my teeth. I guess it will be there forever.

-Unless it’s actually moisturizer, if a product says “moisturizing” on the bottle, it doesn’t really moisturize.

-And, finally, since Lost has been on for almost six years, it’s incredible to consider just how much has transpired in our own lives as we’ve followed the show. For instance, the person who first got me into Lost in 2004 was my girlfriend at the time (known to longtime readers as simply “Girlfriend”). It had a profound effect on our relationship. At the time, I didn’t have DVR but she did, and the late nights we spent watching Lost in her apartment drew us closer together. On the other hand, we once got into such a vicious argument over a plot twist that we actually had to go to couples counseling (the therapist had not seen the episode in question and thus was unable to issue a ruling). I don’t talk to Girlfriend much anymore, as she’s busy planning her wedding, but I do know that she’s still a Lostie. In hindsight, that might have been the only thing we had in common. It’s appropriate, then, that her wedding and the Lost series finale are so close to each other. Both events mark the end of an era. One I’ve already made my peace with. The other I’ll be watching in slow motion. Fuck me.