My husband Sabin is sculpting a bust of me.
Posing is not glamorous. It is work. It consists of being perched on a high, uncushioned ladder so I’m at his eye level. It’s necessary to maintain a certain tilt of my head and drop of one shoulder, and to wear a consistent expression. It’s cold because I’m tucked into a lacy brassiere and yoga pants, and this is one winter that doesn’t want to end.
Periodically Sabin shakes his head, grimaces, and moans. Then he squints in disgust at me. I’m not overly self-conscious but I wonder, at those moments, if I have a lumpy pickle-nose like the Wicked Witch of the West.
I also wish that dark chocolate didn’t strike at the heart of my frailty as a human being. “Frailties,” rather, because there are many of them, too many. He’s already muttering about me posing for a full figure, and then every imperfection of flesh will be immortalized in bronze.
More yoga, less Vosges.
Meantime, as a distraction, 24. We started with Season 1, Episode 1, and now we’re well into Season 3.
This series is enthralling! I watched the show when it aired, years ago, but I had forgotten how well-written, tightly plotted, and suspenseful the show was. It puts to shame all the current TV. In fact, that’s one of the reasons I agreed to pose for my husband in the evenings: TV is so lame right now that I can’t bear to watch most of it.
24 is anything but lame. It’s not perfect. Some of the seasons are stronger than others, and some of the plot lines are better than others.
But for intensity, intricacy of plot building, and multi-dimensional character development, 24 rocks.
Let’s start with David Palmer, who’s one of the greatest fictional presidents ever. His moral center, personal integrity, trustworthiness, thoughtfulness, and charisma are compelling. I find myself wishing he was actually the president. He commands respect in every way.
I often wonder how much that character paved the way for Obama. For an hour every week for 24 weeks, for over 3 years, everyone in America had a magnificent, awe-inspiring, African-American president in their homes. We all got used to the possibility of having such a man lead our country. Unfortunately, Obama is no Palmer.
Then there are those great slimy villains, Nina Meyers and Sherry Palmer. Sherry is one of the most interesting nefarious creatures ever to grace the world of television. She is mesmerizing in her manipulativeness. Nina Meyers holds her own, with her constant betrayals and double-crosses. She has the cunning self-possession of a gutter rat, though less empathy. For all this, Meyers was no caricature. She was a believable reptile. Her murder of Terri Bauer at the end of the first season was just as shocking all these years later as it was when it first aired. I almost couldn’t believe it!
I haven’t gotten to the season with the sniveling cowardly president, yet, but I can’t wait!
Tony and Michelle. I remember having such affection for them that when Tony appeared on the final season, I applauded. Watching the show this way, one episode after another, I see why. Tony is a kind of ultimate soft-voiced good guy, always coming through for Jack. He’s tough when he needs to be and he’s competent and focused. He’s just so appealing. I love that he and Michelle get married….
Chloe. She didn’t show up until the season I’m watching now, season 3. If memory serves, she appears in the rest of the seasons. I was delighted to see her again, and love her nerdy, snippy, grumpy, awkwardness.
Last but not least, Jack Bauer. A latter day GI Joe, or Superman without the cape, or Batman without the mask. I’m struck by how respectful he is, when he’s not shooting, punching, or torturing people. He’s the Great Iconic American, the noble loner driven to get results by any means necessary. He’s tough, independent-minded, and nearly Christ-like in his willingness to sacrifice himself. For all that, he’s got a tender side, with his daughter Kim and various others.
Fantastic show. Makes me forget when my tushie falls asleep on the plastic ladder rung. Passes the time delightfully. A treat every bit as good as a truffle, and longer lasting.