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Not Penny's Boat!


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  • | 2:20 p.m. March 26, 2012
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I didn’t watch ABC’s Lost. The word “watch” implies a detached, passive activity in which a person sits in front of a screen and interprets pretty lights and curious noises coming from a fancy box. Lost was not a television show. Over the years, I became so immersed in the world of Lost that I look back and wonder if my relationship with what I prefer to call the greatest work of fiction in Western history was emotionally healthy.

I didn’t watch it right off the bat---I sat on the sidelines for two seasons and made fun of all my seemingly intelligent adult friends as they obsessed over a bunch of hot, sweaty people running around an island from which they seemingly couldn’t escape, despite the fact that it was equipped with satellites, televisions and fully functional medical facilities. All that changed the day I decided to pick up season one at Target---and the next day when I had to bathe and brush my teeth so I could return to Target to pick up season two.

There are dog people. There are cat people. And there are Lost people.

I have seen every episode of all six seasons at least three times. Before each new season, I ritualisitically rewatch every single episode from the beginning. Whenever I meet a new guy, and my neurotransmitters become blown-open fire hydrants spewing serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin into an otherwise logical and somewhat organized space that I call "brain," I always ask if he watched Lost---like religion or politics, it’s something that has to be dealt with early on, lest I waste any more precious ticks of this clock. If I hear, “No, I watched the first few seasons and then just kind of lost interest after that,” he may as well have just said he couldn’t read and ran an underground golden retriever torture den. I’ll forgive not watching it at all (he can convert), but I cannot wrap my mind around losing interest after the first 10 minutes of the pilot.

What’s that? Lost was your favorite show of all time? It’s actually quicker just to lift my bra right over my head than it is to fool with those pesky claspy thingies. Yep, just rip it off.

Monday I was standing in what is quite possibly the most beautiful spot in Sarasota, Selby Gardens, when I heard an announcement so powerfully shocking to my core that I momentarily forgot about Jon Hamm. I was invited to the kick-off party for the Sarasota Film Festival, and Tom Hall held our rapt attention as he announced the who, what and where of it all. The setting sun had the bay ablaze in gold, and a light breeze was flirting with my bare shoulders.I was giggling with the Scenestress about something I’m quite certain was inappropriate and foul, because there’s something about a quiet crowd that brings out my inner juvenile ...“and Dominic Monaghan will attend the screening of The Day,” Tom said.

Just when I had started to get sad that there might not be Hamm at the SFF, the universe opened another door. I was like a Trekkie who had just heard Captain Kirk was about to roll into town. Charlie Hieronymus Pace, my favorite character from my most beloved television show, is coming to Sarasota. Oh. My. God.

Each character in Lost was forced to reckon with very specific inner karmic demons. **Spoiler alert!** (Seriously---don’t read any more. I will loan you my DVDs). Charlie beat his late in season three, and he died by drowning in the finale in an attempt to save his friends from a trap that would have killed them all. I did my best to mourn his passing, but in truth I was in denial that Charlie was actually dead until the series finale three years later. If you’re not familiar with the phenomenon that was Lost, there were elaborate fansites where Lost nerds like me would post their theories on the mysteries within mysteries on top of mysteries that comprised the show. I remember getting into a week-long, knock-down, drag-out, all-caps online war with a fellow blogger over whether or not Charlie was really dead---that’s the, um, "unhealthy" part I alluded to previously.

Will I be disappointed if Jon Hamm doesn’t show up? Of course I will, but I have a confession to make: I’ve been cheating on my no-date diet. I can’t help myself. I have needs, and fantasizing about Jon Hamm just wasn’t enough to get me to April 13. A Southern belle doesn’t usually dish about such details, but let’s just say there’s been a few bouts of kissy-kissy with a good old-fashioned, red-blooded American man ... well, okay. Two men.Who knows, by the time the Sarasota Film Festival comes rolling around, I might be too! To hell with Hamm … I’ll settle for being absolutely and completely geeked out beyond a level acceptable for a grown adult female. Come hell or high water, I’m going to meet Dominic Monaghan. To be prepared for any photo op that might spring up, I will carry around a Drive Shaft poster and have “Not Penny’s Boat” written on my hand in black sharpie all week long. If you are of the male persuasion and don’t know what that means, please don’t ever mention it---you'll immediately lose your shot at any and all kissy-kissy.