Musings

[Blog] “When you can’t run, you crawl”

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One of my favorite lines from the whole Firefly series is the one provides the backbone to The Message, the episode where Mal and Zoe get the body of one of their old war buddies in the mail. A lot of you probably know the one I’m talking about already (and if you don’t, please beware of spoilers below):

“When you can’t run, you crawl, and when you can’t crawl– when you can’t do that anymore, you find someone to carry you.”

It’s a sentiment that’s been deeply important to my circle of friends. We’re a bit less melodramatic about it than we were during college, but it’s still one of the easiest shorthands we have to describe what you do for the people you care about. So when I recently rewatched the episode, I was surprised to remember that Tracey used it as justification for calling his old comrades in arms “saps”.

The last time I watched it, I think I was so focused on the no-man-left-behind part that I didn’t really register that one of the main characters in the episode actually considered it a weakness. And sure, there’s a good chance he was grateful for it by the end, and our protagonists did right by him regardless. But still.

I’m not sure why I noticed it so much this time. It’s not like it’s the first time someone exploited the people who were there for them, and I’m pretty sure the whole thing is just a variation on the same theme Jesus was talking about when he said to turn the other cheek. But for whatever reason, it made me think a little harder this time. It made me that much more grateful for the people I know who will be there to carry me, too.

Musings

[Blog] Nomadic

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There was a time that I wanted to be a truck driver for a living. If I remember correctly, I got the idea shortly after learning about sleeper cabs and finding out that a pair of drivers could switch back and forth on a long haul. I thought it sounded like a lot of fun, especially if you got along well with your partner. Actually, my specific thought was that it would be really cool to be a husband/wife team: we could support ourselves while traveling all over the place, and we wouldn’t have to be apart for a long time while we did it. It’s possible that I was a weird kid. It’s also possible that I’d already figured out that it was the closest I’d get to living on my own spaceship.

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Or maybe that’s just what it sounds like in retrospect. At the very least, though, I’d figured out that I enjoy long road trips. I don’t know that it played any real part in it, but it’s interesting to connect that old fantasy to the fact that I eventually got my license to drive small passenger buses: it’s not exactly the same, but it’s not so far off, either, and the idea of working by traveling long distances still appeals to me.

Well. Most of the time. Circumstances have me splitting my time between two different cities, so I’m sleeping on the couches of various friends (you are all incredible, wonderful people and I am forever in your dept) almost as often as I’m sleeping in my own bed, and there’s days that the idea of being so nomadic is a whole lot more appealing than the reality of it. But then, there’s also days when I realize that it’s still pretty cool. The drive between the two is unfailingly gorgeous, taking me past both mountains and the coast, for one thing. For another, it means I’ve got friends and connections in more than one place, and it’s a little easier to remember how big and small the world is all at once.