DEAR GILES

It’s Mr. Frog’s birthday today!

In celebration, yesterday I took him out to SeƱor Wong’s (now rebranded SW Craft Bar) in downtown Saint Paul and a performance of “A Man’s Requium” by SEOP Dance Company of Korea at Ordway Performing Arts. The subject of the performance was not particularly celebratory (oh death!), but Mr. Frog said he enjoyed it.

We came home, lit a candle for you, and finished watching the last two episodes of the first season of The Leftovers on dvd. It’s a fascinating if depressing show about a small town three years after a Rapture-type event in which millions of people worldwide simply disappeared in the blink of the eye. Unlike other versions of this story I’ve encountered that have focused on Christian morality and the idea of the faithful and salvation, this show instead is about existential uncertainty, grief, and survivors’ guilt. The first few episodes can be a bit challenging because the narrative unfolds deliberately without a lot of exposition or explanation. I like how it works though–so much that a later episode with some back story felt really out of place to me (and also unnecessary). I love the way the show unfolds characters and their interactions with each other in puzzling ways that always hint at more than is said or done in that scene.

Of course, as with many other things in my world, I saw you in a lot of this show. For one thing, it’s about loss and grief. But for another, there is the enigma of dogs in this show. From the very first episode, dogs appear as feral creatures in town. One mysterious character shoots dogs on sight and says to the main character that dogs are no longer humans’ companions. This altered presence of dogs in a human world bereft becomes a recurring theme in the show as the characters rebuild their lives in the aftermath of the mass disappearance.

body pillow
Picture from July 14, 2013.

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