Love is a funny thing.

When it gets too strong or too insular, it twists on itself and becomes something new entirely. When you cast it in the right light, in its right form, I’m not sure if I personally can tell the difference between love, poison, rage, resentment, aggression, fear, control, ego, any of that. I just finished Sharp Objects and it scares me how familiar I found it. Not hurting people of course (I can barely stomach the idea of hurting an ant crawling through the house because it squeezed under the door). More how easily family and love and what we learn about love within our families can turn ill. I think for people from Pleasantville lives, maybe, this sounds like rambling. Shows like Sharp Objects are just a taboo stumble down the forbidden trail of the darkest possibilities and our most animalistic inclinations. They’re fun who-dun-its that explore the complexity and ambiguity of familial and feminine relationships but it’s as much entertainment as the 5 o’clock news is stale and lifeless describing similar stories.

close up portrait of human eye
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

It’s like Alice’s rabbit hole, or whatever. You’re too young to know before you tumble down it and once you get to the bottom (if you weren’t born straight into it like some of us), you learn that all the rules square adults tell you are really fictional and if you embrace the lack of gravity and natural law and concrete judgment, it won’t turn your mind inside out. Except the rest of the world is rightside out and you can’t live in your rabbit hole forever. It will warp it but whose mind isn’t a little warped? Is there such a thing? Do we all come from this dysfunction or do some people really come from stock photographs? They just emerge one day and they look and seem entirely human. They don’t bleed. They cry rarely. They stress only at appropriate times. But they’re human, right? I’m not sure which one is folklore: those of use who grow up with Mary Poppins or those of us benevolently raised somewhat akin to that of Hansel and Gretel, if their stepmother had actually loved one but it’s complicated?

I digress and I’m not even sure I understand what I am trying to say. I’m indubitably a member of the involuntarily warped tribe that treads water in Wonderland. But at some point you have to come out as an adult, looking for food and rewards, carrots of one form or another. And then you emerge from this screwed up world which feels as normal to you as the chapped lines on your lips and you realize, among all of these picket fences and uniform houses with uniform driveways, as artificial and unnatural as the societal normal feels, you’re still turned inside out on yourself.