The world was introduced to Dexter Morgan in 2006. The plucky little serial killer show ran for eight seasons, having it’s last kill in 2013. (We’re doing a carefully negotiated co-watch of the series in these parts. It’s an interesting adventure.) Without besmirching any of the show’s writing or acting or show running in general, what does my brain keep running to with each episode? Those two were married. Then they weren’t. Jennifer Carpenter and Michael C. Hall were married during that run, in 2008. They also divorced during that run, in 2011. Now, you can come at me with as much Stella Adler, Uta Hagen or Lee Strasberg as you want. Forget what they did on camera. What those two actors pulled of with that compartmentalized personal and business juggling was award-worthy.
This is what I was thinking about this morning on the treadmill. While watching episode one of season five. I missed last night’s remote screening because I fell asleep in my son’s bed with a stuffed Chewbacca in my armpit.
I’m awesome at relationships.
But I thought about it again after my day job, waiting to scoop up my son. Sitting in my car, waiting for dismissal from my son’s Catholic school is where I do my best thinking. (Yes. I know. But, he’ll appreciate the jokes so much more someday. Plus, my ex and I actually agreed on it, so we went with it.) But, back to pick up time. It’s good for thinking. Learning lines, like today, when I wasn’t thinking about Jen and Mike, and the light brown ombre hair I want. Then I was watching. Then judging. So much judging. The other moms are doing it too. It’s cool.
Then the usual flying home and then off to the thousand other errands. Really a thousand? Probably not. If I was better at meditating, I’d know it was only five and that if I focused fully, in the moment, with each task, I’d accomplish them with minimal anxiety and more happiness. But I’m not better at meditating yet. But it’s coming.
One of the tasks today is meeting with my kiddo’s dad. Picking out a winter coat and getting him a haircut. Yes, a haircut. But, in everyone’s defense, getting a kid with alopecia a hair cut requires every one on the team bringing their A game, and cursing genetic autoimmune glitches like they just kicked your dog. A little, sweet, curly haired dog. But that’s another topic for another time, a time that has more wine.
I get it. You don’t get to play make-believe every night. A new script doesn’t appear in your inbox next to your Honda bill. A new audition doesn’t schedule itself every week. You don’t get to act all the time. At least hacks like me don’t. You have to do real life. And real things. With exes. And that’s good. We all tromped out and bought a ski coat and had the your man’s hairs trimmed. It was fine. No drama. Honestly, tonight was not bad. As far as real life can be rated, a solid 7.5, plus or minus one. There were of course, about an hour in, that shining moment where it rings crystal clear, “ oh yes THAT! That’s why this thing with us being in the the house can never happen again.” And that was just a coat and a cut. We make it work for the little dude in the stylist’s chair, who never sits still. Never. But, I can manage the crazy head bats in a salon and a sporting goods store, but on screen?
How – HOW could a divorced couple stay on the same show, day after day, hour after hour? Incredible. I guess I see the logic. Good work. Anything to keep chasing the dream. We put a lot into doing what we love, and when that is at stake, you’re ready to slay dragons.
To that end, I was happy to come home with just the newly shorn kid last night. Maybe later tonight (provided I don’t crash with the wookie) there will be more writing. Maybe I’ll puzzle over sides for a bit, then give up and then of course finally get the writer’s intent five minutes after I leave the audition. Maybe I’ll get another long-distance Dexter co-watch tonight. And appreciate everything that comes along with that.