Yeah, I grew up watching Star Trek with my dad (no Coors Light for him, and it was the original, not TNG yet), and Picard remains one of my sci-fi heroes (because my dad and I did, naturally, also watch TNG together). But the show that anchored my adolescent experience was Twin Peaks, my love for which I’ve mentioned before.
I was a weird kid. I was never able to get a handle on who I was and how that related to who other people thought I was. I was a jumble of contradictions and I both hated and loved everything, while I also hated and loved myself and the people around me.
Twin Peaks was a weird show. It was both about adolescence and about adulthood, and also about some seriously weird shit and how that weird shit related to who the characters were and how other people saw them. It’s also the most frightening television show I’ve ever seen. (Unlike the woman who wrote The Awl article, I did re-watch Twin Peaks as an adult. I’d been hesitant, for the same reasons she mentions, but it turned out to be even better the second time around. It’s a damn fine show that holds up better than most over decades, and was still terrifying the second time around.)
The only time I’ve ever properly inhabited fandom was when Twin Peaks was on. I was immersed in it. I kept a notebook to write quotes in. One of my friends was also really into the show and we would talk about it for whole minutes straight, foreheads nearly touching. (I was enough of a disaster at that time in my life that the friendship never went anywhere from there. We should have been best friends for life after that. High school was not my highpoint.)
I’ve recently been spending time with people who make me think about my bicoastal identity – always a New Yorker, but one who belongs in the Pacific Northwest. Taking the train home from Portland last week after an epic meeting with people I loved immediately in part because of our shared culture and heritage, I was struck by the trees being so Twin Peaksy. Reading this Star Trek TNG essay today, I’m left wondering if my experience of Twin Peaks somehow influenced how much I feel, right now, that I belong where I am.