I always thought I never had a true best friend, one I can turn to when I'm feeling sad, lonely, or if I just was to laugh. A best friend who calms me when I'm angry, and keeps my most intimate secrets. One I can count on to be there for me without fail. Recently though, I've come to the realization that I've had a best friend ever since I was four years old. My oldest and most trusted friend is... wait for it... my television. "What?!" I know some may think I'm crazy for believing that a mere TV can be a real true friend, trust me, I had a hard time believing it myself, it did take me 20 years to realize it. But when I think back to times when my TV was there for me, and how much comfort it brought me, I know that I'm not crazy. Case in point, back when I was about seven or eight: "What are we going to do, oh, what are we going to do, now that grandfather is gone?" My grandmother had asked me one evening as she walked past the television, only slightly drawing my attention away from plot unfolding before me. I was sitting on a blue-grey twill like couch, watching The New Adventures of Lois and Clark, with Dean Cain and Terri Hatcher. My grandmother had just come from the kitchen which was to my left. When she came into the room I instantly smelled White Musk, the scented lotion and perfume she so often wore. The smell was sweet and tangy, detectable as soon as she started coming my way. It took me a while to answer her, my grandfather had just died, and there was a heavy cloak of darkness that was weighing our family down to an extreme low that I had never experienced before this devastating loss. Switching my gaze up to see the sad expression on her face I sighed and said, "I don't know Grandmother. What are we going to do?" At that point she turned to look at me, she was wearing a red pajama set with leopard print on the cuffs and collar of the shirt. Tall in height and a dark chocolate complexion, her hair was curled and short, not so short her scalp was visible but short nonetheless. She raised her hands in the air palms up and replied, "We'll just have to find a way to move on with our lives and keep going." She gave me a slight smile and continued to her room straight ahead. That is the last conversation I vividly remember having with my grandmother. She died a few weeks later. I had always been very close with my grandmother, I spent a lot of time with her, and my life shifted after she was gone. Several days after the funeral I still had not returned to school, all I did day in and day out was watch TV. I didn't get any phone calls or visits, not that I would have accepted either, but what I did get was comfort from my TV. Happiness eluded me, but every so often a chuckle or snicker would escape my lips due to a sitcom or something humorous that happened on my private screen. "You're going to have to go back to school at some point, Jen", my mom had said. Her voice sounded so distant I almost thought I had imagined it, I was tuned into Unsolved Mysteries, a show my grandmother had watched all the time, which to be perfectly honest scared me, but I watched it intently because it reminded me of her. I was in the living room, sitting in my favorite spot in the middle of the couch, my eyes never wavered from the TV, it was an older model that had wood framing and drawer handles below the screen that didn't pull out. To the left of me is the dining room with our China cabinet, filled with porcelain elephants, and crystal, sitting behind a large round wooden table and matching chairs. My mom rounds the corner from her room, walks past the TV and makes her way to the dining room to sit. When she came into the room, I looked up to see that she was wearing the red pajama set that had belonged to my grandmother, there of course was a very strong resemblance, except when my mom entered a room the scent of baby powder filled the air with a hint of Obsession perfume. A mature scent. Not to be associated with the common "old lady" smell. Tall in stature, my mom stands about 5'9. Her shiny ebony hair which normally brushes just past her shoulders, pulled back into a ponytail. "Did you hear me?" "Huh?" "I said, you're going to have to go back to school," she quipped. A commercial had just come on so I looked over at her. "I know, I'm just not ready to deal with people, or school work." "Ok, well I"m going back to work in one week, so you have to go back to school when I go back to work. Agreed? Because you know we have to get up and move on with our lives." "Yeah I know. I just don't want to." My mom put on a brave front but I could tell she was filled with sadness and turmoil. Her eyes were sunken in it seemed, like the puffiness from her crying was trying to eat her eyes whole. She got up then, made her way to the kitchen, came back with a bag of pretzels and went back to her room with her head down. I started watching TV again. Unsolved Mysteries was nearly over and Walker , Texas Ranger would be on soon. I watched and watched, all genres, except horror, because I wasn't brave enough to watch those, plus my mom wouldn't let me. The television made me laugh, cry, think and let me drift away into other worlds, out of the darkest reality I'd ever been a part of. It was a comfort nothing else could give me, when I needed to laugh I watched Rugrats, Doug, Muppet Babies, or I love Lucy, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and I Dream of Jeanie. When I wanted to think and actually try and figure out what was going on before it happened I watched things like, Dragnet, Matlock, or Columbo. No matter how I needed to feel to get me through the day, my trusted TV had a comfort episode for me each and every time. I really believe that it would have been a much worse experience for me had I not had the comfort of a trusted friend.
Still think I'm a few equations short of a math book? Well, just think about this. Over the years I learned how valuable my time is and how to spend it on or with things that are important in my life. Don't people normally set aside a lot of that time to spend with important or best friends, and family? Well looking back, I can honestly say I've spent much, some would say too much, time with my TV. Actually, I've probably spent more time curled up in front of the TV than I have with any person other than my mom. And that's mostly because she was there watching with me. I've shared actual experiences with my TV that I could not share with anyone else. For instance, take the time when: "Picture it, Sicily , 1942" Sophia's voice of the Golden Girls loomed in the background as I finished up my homework. The evening was fast approaching and I would soon be home alone because my mom works the night shift. Being only 12 or 13 at the time, my mom didn't trust me to turn the TV off on my own and go to bed at a reasonable hour. So, she made me go to bed before she left. Of course, she was right to feel this way because I never actually fell asleep before she left. Oh, I lay down snug under the blankets in my bed, but I just waited for her to leave, remote control in hand. "Ok Jen, see you in the morning. Be good. Don't open the door for anyone, and go to sleep! Love you. Bye!" "'K Mom, love you too, bye!" The door closes, I wait a good two minutes, and then I get up and switch on the light. My room is not well lit, and has a blue tint when the lights are on. Everything I could ever need is in my room. Including a jar of pickles I keep under my bed. Upon walking in, the TV, VCR, and Nintendo 64, which all sit on a tall light brown wooden dresser, are positioned against the wall next to the closet. My bed is directly across from the TV, giving me the best view possible. Above the head of the bed is my window, draped with ugly tweed looking tan and brown curtains made of my favorite twins- poly and ester. To the left of my bed is my longer dresser which matches the tall dresser and has a large mirror attached to it. I turned on the TV. and then turned the light back off. The light from the TV illuminated the room to just the right amount of light. I immediately tuned into the Disney Channel which was airing Vault Disney, which are Disney classics, for the first time that I knew of and I could not wait to experience some of the greats. Tonight was Pollyanna, Moon Spinners, and Summer Magic, all Hayley Mills films, one of my favorite actresses. "Tonight's the night, tonight's the night, Vault Disney, yeah, that's right!" I said to myself in a sing song voice. Now, I'd gotten up and watched a little TV after my mom had gone to work many times before this night, but tonight, tonight was different, I was going to watch three full movies, I'd never stayed up that late on a school night before, but I was determined to see all of these classics. Soon the first movie was over and the second was starting, but I was getting sleepy, I could feel my eyelids fluttering as I fought my sleepiness with the strength and vigor of the great Muhammad Ali. That lasted all of five minutes; even figuratively I could never float like a butterfly nor sting like a bee against a feather duster, let alone the Sandman. My sleep deprived body was no match for the Vault. My eyelids drifted to a close for how long I'm not sure, but after awhile I was awakened again. It had seemed the TV had gotten a little louder, almost like it knew how badly I wanted to enjoy this terrific line-up of classic cinema. I could somehow feel the vibe that my TV didn't want me to miss any more of the movies. I had to do several head whips, but I was able to finish all three movies! "Ah, time for sleep! Those were great movies. I won't forget this fun fueled evening anytime soon, that's for sure!" I said as I drifted off to dream land. Being an only child, breaking the rules and staying up late with my TV were luxurious experiences for me. A secret between best friends. Something no one else knew, it was like my own little secret society with only two members. Me and my best friend. As I've ve grown and matured, my TV has also. Nowadays I've got quite a few televisions, one for every room. And yes, this does includes the bathroom, but not both of them, just the full size, with the bathtub. The main TV is a HD flat screen and has all the accessories I could need for it, not one port is left open, and the surround sound gives it a voice that can be heard throughout the entire house. The other TVs in the house aren't any less important though, they all have at least one accessory to compliment them, which I think is important because that way each TV gets used for more than one thing. Every TV is put to great use everyday, just as it has always been put to great use since the tender age of four. The TV isn't just a cold electronic device to me, it's a meaningful part of my everyday life, something that brings me a plethora of emotions, sometimes all at once. I feel lucky to have such a diverse, cultural, intelligent, multitalented, open minded companion and Best Friend.
Thank you for reading!