Sometimes it feels good to cry. Your just yearn to completely break down and let everything pour out through your eyes and shake out through your sobs.
I’ve been singing A Place Called Home to you since… well almost since the day you were born. The story of Angel and his friends has always moved me. But that last season, when so many of them die, it just endears them even more into your heart.
Wesley is my favorite, of course. I thought I always liked Giles best of the Buffyverse. I could relate to his sideline fathering. And in the early days, Wes just seemed like a boob. But by the time he was running things at Angel, Inc., that boy had really grown a pair. And by the end of the series, I felt like I not only respected him the most of all the characters, but I related to him as well.
Angel points out to him “You’re the one that makes the hard decisions.” He did it with Faith when he turned her over to the Council, with Connor when he was trying to keep him from getting killed by his father, with Angel when he pulled him up from the drink, with Lilah when he thought that she had been turned. There in the last season he did it a lot: when his father came to town, when he faced Gunn and Knox, and when Illyria had no home.
Whenever I watch that last season, I always know that the waterworks are on their way. I mean they really set you up to hurt. Cordelia, Fred, Wesley. Oh my god, even the scene when he tries to burn Lilah’s contract breaks my heart. But that song. That song just comes from out of nowhere. I always think that it’s part of “A Hole in the World” but it’s not. It’s part of “Shells“. And it just springs on you with those chords and that voice of Kim’s and all the sudden you’re weeping, even before you see Fred driving off to LA.
I think I started singing that song to you as a way to keep myself connected to the characters in the show. You know, how when you read a book you want a sequel so immediately–and then you find yourself on the web, reading about the characters, and trying to drink in everything about those people that you can? That’s why I made a Rogue Demon Hunter character on City of Villains. It was a fun way to play Wesley’s dark side. The guns looked cool, especially with the dual pistols. And Wes always looked cool with his guns, too. And the thugs–just some guys you get to help you out and that are disposable.
But that song takes me other places too. There something in it that reminds me of a few places around Arkadelphia: like the Vaden bridge and the road on the other side of the river. In fact, it kind of feels like the river itself. It just sums up those Arkadelphian feelings of frolicking in the wilderness. It’s “take charge of my life” lyrics remind me of “Heads Carolina, Tails California” which I listened to when I found the Vaden bridge–and maybe of all the hurt that was going on in my life at the time as well.
There’s no way I can sum up everything that that song embodies for me. But sometimes I just need to feel it, and let it wash over me and bring all my sorrow to the surface.
He always kills off the ones you can’t help but love, you know. That Joss. Dear Anya, Wes, Fred, Cordelia, Wash. I never felt that attached to Book, but his death felt really powerful, all the same because Joss just knows how to do that sort of thing.
I’m glad that he’s writing the Buffy Season 8 comics. I hope he’ll do an Angel Season 6 one as well. I know Wes is gone, but I still love the other characters, too. And I heard that Joss had plans for Gunn getting turned. That would Rock. Vamp Gunn would make such an awesome Big Bad.
You broke my heart tonight, son, when you started crying at the story. It’s not a sad story, you know. They’re just putting on their pajamas to go to bed. That’s not so sad. In fact, for them, it’s kind of like a party.
Hop into bed
Turn out the light
You can have a party in your dreams tonight
IT’S PAJAMA TIME!
It’s Pajama Time!
it’s pajama time!
I used to read those words to you every night, over and over. For a while it was your favorite book. Then you didn’t want me to read, you wanted to play with the books, run your finger over the pictures and the markings like Daddy does. But with Pajama Time, you would tap your finger on the pages–the same way that Daddy taps out the rhythm of the rhyme when he reads the story song to you. You know this book is different.
Is that why you cried? Because you all the sudden realized that you missed this book? Oh, precious boy. I understand. I do.
I’ve cried at books before too. One of the most important books when I was growing up was But We Are Not of Earth. It’s just a little young adult sci-fi novel about some kids who grew up in outer space. But I fell in love with them when I read it. Well, mostly I fell in love with the protagonist, and I related to the guy that was becoming her boyfriend. She was amazing. She led these three kids in stealing a spaceship driven by brain waves and taking it to a new planet where they could live like their ancestors did on Earth. I think. It’s been a long time. I think I read it during the summer between my 6th and 7th grade years.
When I came to the last chapter, I got really sad. I decided that I didn’t want to read it. And then I decided to start the whole book all over again. I eventually finished it, laying in the back seat of my parents’ VW Rabbit parked in the gravel behind the shoe repair shop in Heber Springs, Arkansas, on a sunny summer afternoon. And then I cried again because it was really over.
Is that what you were feeling with Pajama Time? Did you realized that those little animals dancing around in their PJs were your friends and that you hadn’t seen them in a long time? I know; it’s hard. Friends are important–even when they come from a book.
You’ll see these friends again. And you’ll find other friends, too. And you’ll make up friends of your own. You have the imagination to do it already.
I love you, buddy.
Over in the meadow where the stream runs blue
Lived an old mother fish and her little fishes two
“Swim” said the mother. “We swim” said the two
So they swam, and they leapt where the stream runs blue
–Old Appalachian counting rhyme
It was a big day, wasn’t it, buddy? We spent so much time outside. I’m sorry you got so sad when I was trying to make the minnow trap, but some of daddy’s tools are just too dangerous for babies to play with. We did have some fun, though, didn’t we?
Let’s see. What all did we do?
You got up really early, and I took a nap on the living room floor–or tried to, at least–while you played in there. But you kept doing so many funny things and kept trying to climb over me, so I eventually had to give up on the sleeping. You had a kind of early nap, and I went out to get some groceries. The plain yogurt was really good when we mixed it with the bananas, wasn’t it? And the strawberries, too.
Then we made the minnow trap and went across the street to show it to the neighbor kids. That was fun. Then we showed the neighbor kids how the bow-drill works. Then you got hungry again, so we had some more yogurt–out by the creek this time. Then the kids wanted to go to the park and see if we could find some crawdads. We saw some really big ones, didn’t we? But Daddy and the big kids couldn’t catch them. Then we came home and took a nice long bath to get the creek mud off of us.
We’ll go back to the park tomorrow and see if our minnow trap caught any fishes.
The rock and pool is nice and cool
So juicy sweet
Its only wish to catch a fish
So juicy sweet
Good night, Little Buddy.