Twin Peaks: Another Day In My Teenage Life

Today is strange and profound. I have gone to the grocery store, put dishes away and folded laundry—completed Sunday afternoon types of chores. Ordinary tasks. It is pouring rain here in the mountains. There is a heavy, consistent rush in the stream that normally giggles. Like a waterfall. The sky is gray with an almost-fog presence. Birds flutter from branch to branch, and occasionally, from bird feeder to bird feeder at each end of my porch.

Everything around me feels “busy”. There is mysterious calm. I am surrounded by trees. All I can think about is, “Who killed Laura Palmer?” Who really killed her? Leland. Bob in Leland. Bob? Who is Bob, exactly? What about the Black Lodge? I still need to know more.

I am 16 years old again. Everything around me is Twin Peaks, the imaginary Washington town that will come alive again on the same-named TV show this evening. I am not in the North Carolina Smoky Mountains. I am in the tall forest of the Pacific Northwest. The owls are flying. The giants are watching.

No TV show or movie has affected me like Twin Peaks. I remember watching the shows with my friends in high school, reading Laura Palmer’s diary, and spending hours in conversation with fellow fans trying to make some sense of the mystery. About ten years later, I would purchase the VHS tapes until I owned every episode, later journeying into owning the Blu-Rays and then streaming through Netflix while begging my later-life-friends to discover the story with me again. I never thought Twin Peaks would come back to me with a new story, although the original one never left me. Tonight, it begins again.

When I first watched Twin Peaks, I realized there were other worlds in the art of stories that were as interesting and weird as my own mind. I realized that my own strangeness was not something to keep hidden. I was more like people than not. Twin Peaks brought me that realization through its complex, eccentric characters and willingness to create a world that could not always be explained, yet fed the ordinary world with a push that brought out the impossible in everyday people. For the first time, as a teenager, I realized that my creative mind was a perfectly normal and valid place and that it is was okay to use it to inform my life, my world, and eventually, my career as an adult. Its darkness, its strangeness, and its whimsy, were all important and useful.

When I watched Twin Peaks as a teenager, I was experiencing the adult world for the first time in my own life. I was making mistakes, hurting people without meaning to hurt them, pushing past religious guilt and discovering a more imperfect and interesting world, and doing it all within the realm of innocence. I did not realize this at the time. It is something I only know looking back. The complex Twin Peaks world of spiritual mysticism and journey of people to keep faith while looking for worthwhile moments in their lives matched my own life. I fought and wrestled with both realms of existence, wavering, sometimes smashing in and out of them.

I do not know where tonight will take me. I am already in the woods. I am waiting and listening. It is already strange. I will meet myself there. Older. Wiser. Still innocent and dark. Whimsical and goofy. Ready for some pie in the cathedral of the unknown. Ready for the lessons to resume.


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