Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Mainlining, Meth, and Messy Endings

Yes, I drive this. Exactly this.
And thank god for commas, because otherwise this post would mean something different altogether.

One day a couple of years ago, I came out of Kroger loaded down with groceries, cranky kids in tow. I popped the hatch to load up my haul and stopped short. All of us did, the kids and me, because some punk had scrawled the word "Meth" in big letters across the rear window of my vehicle that (obviously) needed a wash. We just stood there and stared at it under the halogen sky, puzzled and kind of creeped out. I mean, what the hell? Were the bored kids of Auburn, Alabama fresh out of creative dirt-graffiti?

But it all makes sense now, because my sneaky, inconsiderate family started mainlining Breaking Bad on Netflix a couple of weeks ago.

I drive a gold Aztek, usually covered with at least one layer of dust or pollen or something, which gives it a certain famous golden-green hue. Glamorous, right? But it gets me around, is handy for hauling dogs, children, groceries, props for the school play, tubas, chain saws (not kidding- there's one in there now), and I don't have to worry about messing up the upholstery because hey, it's an Aztek with a limited lifespan, which will soon be replaced by a more practical vehicle. Probably a truck. I've never had really strong feelings about it- or any vehicle, really- one way or the other. Until this week.

Now I'm rockin' that Aztek like a boss. My car looks exactly like the Walter White mobile. I mean, exactly, except I've got all four hub caps. (For now, anyway.) Same color, same crappy stereo, same upholstery, same annoying locks that engage every single moment the car's not in park. So inconvenient for picking up kids or running from gun-toting cartels. To love that show is to love that car. And I do.

In the immortal words of Jesse Pinkman, "Take that, Bitch!"

At first, I resisted. Not that long ago the world seemed to be made up of two kinds of people: those who loved Breaking Bad, and the rest of us who wished they'd just shut up already. I was in the second camp. Television is just one of the many things I've sacrificed for writing. But then the two men in my life started watching, and what could I do? Just not visit the living room for a month? I so did not have time for a show, but like a good book or some 99% pure sky-blue crystal, I was soon as hooked as all my friends had been.

But, as with all mainlined shows, it came to a halt. Tonight, actually, which is good because hey, I've got my living room and valuable doing stuff time back. Bad because everyone hates an ending. Breaking Bad happened to have a really excellent ending- the best I've seen barring Six Feet Under. But, even though the finale tied up all loose ends and left me with a sense of closure, it was still an ending. And those suck. Bad endings? Those really suck. Good ones just suck less.

Which got me thinking. I really struggled with the ending to my trilogy. I hated to do it. And some fans have not been pleased. I was not pleased. Not, "Omg, THIS is how Veronica Roth ends the Divergent trilogy? Pitchfork, now!" kind of upset, but still, not happy. Only after seeing the finale to one of the finest dramas ever made have I started to be sort of okay with it. Sometimes, you just have to end it, and move on to the other stories clamoring for your attention. I'm lucky that I have a series so strongly grounded in setting that I can always, always revisit it. As I'm doing now with a prequel novella.

So, I'm sad to see such a great series end. And I'm sad that I ended my own series kinda so-so. But guess what? I have a Meth Mobile. So there. Bitch!


  1. Lol to the the two kinds of people comment. I remember feeling that way about Lost many years ago. I remember being at parties, and people would sit and talk about it for *hours.* I was very eyerolly about Lost, but eventually I did watch the whole thing on Netflix. When it was done, it was like losing a friend. :(

    And Breaking Bad was great TV, and a great ending. Agreed.

    1. I was late to the Lost party, too! I only started watching because my brother works at the place where it was filmed. Lucky bastard. Now I'm a total JJ Abrahms nut.

    2. :) Better late than never, I suppose.