Now That I'm Forty...

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Now That I'm Forty...

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

I, Ladies and Gents, Am The Perfect Doctor Who Companion

The latest Doctor Who episode goes like this;

The Setup;
The Doctor, who travels in a time and space machine, has a girl named Rose Tyler as a companion. The Doctor has this habit, see, of taking vulnerable and plucky human females to assist him in his travels. Usually, he winds up having to do things like liberate planets from the tyranny of despots, or overthrow corrupt alien leagues, when really all he sets out to do is sightsee the Universe with a willing guest.

This Episode;
Rose wants to go back and visit her father, who died in 1987. Rose is from 2005, London. She is eighteen. So the Doctor takes her to the day her mother and her father were married. Rose sees him in the flesh and is slightly disillusioned. Then she gets another idea. She remembers the account that her mother gave her of her father's death. On that day, he was struck by a car and lay in the road until he died. He was alone. Rose wants to go there, to that day and that spot, and be there with him. Prevent him from having to die alone.

So the Doctor takes her to the spot. They watch him be struck by the car. He lay in the road, broken and dying. And Rose cannot move. The horror of what she's seen immobilizes her. Her father dies.

She asks the Doctor for another try.

But this time, impulse takes over and she dashes out and saves her father this time, instead of doing nothing.

Well, disaster ensues. The science-fictiony direction of the story might not interest you, but it goes like this; Rose weakened time when she saved her father, so time-eating creatures sneak through the weakened gap and wipes out everyone on Earth, except those lucky enough to hide out in older structures, as have Rose, the Doctor, her now-alive father, her unaware mother, and a party of wedding guests.

Eventually, Rose's father figures out the whole turn of events impinges on his death, so he sets out to right the wrong, which is something even the Doctor couldn't do.

Why I'm telling you all this?

You see, after Rose saved her father from his fated death, and before disaster fully descends as a result, she gets to know her father a little better. Instead of the ideal she formed as a fatherless little girl growing up, she gets to see him for herself. She realizes he's a bit of a ne'er-do-well, and a lout. He isn't bad, just not-that-great. Aimless in a way. Still, Rose aches so much for a relationship with him, that she doesn't hide the fact that she is his daughter from the future when he figures it out. He asks if he turns out to be a good dad, and Rose concocts a personal history that includes a flawless, ever-present, supportive, wonderful father in her life. That's when he begins to figure out things. He knows a bit of who he is, and the father Rose described is not him.

When Rose's father decides to go to meet his fate, he of course has to tell her goodbye and Rose has to accept that he's right. She has to lose him again or else the world and eventually her mother and the few remaining humans on Earth will be destroyed.

Peter Allen Tyler: I never read you those bedtime stories. I never took you on those picnics. I was never there for yer.
Rose Tyler: You would've been.

Oh, I bawled. Well, okay, not that dramatic, but the tears did flow.


I mean what would I have done in her place? What would you have done? The exact same thing!
If you could go back in time to any spot on Earth? What would you try to prevent? A global crisis? Or a personal one?

Unfortunately, I don't even remember the date of my Mom's death anymore, and I was 27 at the time. But that's better than not knowing my age when my Dad died some years later.

But unlike Rose, I couldn't have prevented the deaths. Oh, I guess if I'd have let the Doctor take me back to when my parents were much younger, I suppose I could have tried to educate Mom on the perils of smoking and my Dad on the virtues of staying clean and sober.

But nothing probably would have changed. What's a few words against a lifetime of bad habits?

One thing I would have done, for sure. I'd have the Doctor take me back to Riverside Drive, in the mid-sixties. I'd have scouted and scanned each morning on the viaduct between Grant's Tomb and 135th St until I saw them. Helen and James White walking with their toddler son between them. No tragedy is about to strike. It's just a good day. I can even taste the candy I got at the park that surrounds the monument. It's a day when Mom and Dad are getting along. When Dad seems like he wants to be my father. When Mom seems to want to be his wife.

It's a day I can't ever forget and don't ever want to. It was the happiest day in my life. And whereas Rose had to concoct a happy childhood with a father she never really knew, I have to hold onto one single event.

That'd make me a perfect companion for the Doctor. Lot's of personal pathos we could one day exploit and make a cracking good television episode! Then back onto saving empires next week!


This is how the court date went last Friday. I was given a date to reappear in court to prove my case. My case being that I should be allowed to stay in the apartment and not get evicted. That's what happened last time, but I'd forgotten the details. So I have until the 24th to coalesce some evidence to the judge to prove that not only am I able to start and continue paying rent, but I also can make restitution for the $4000+ that I owe.

And can I? Last time, I couldn't and the judge gave me a wake-up call (which I blogged about). My Soon-To-Be-A-Doctor-Friend bailed me out then. This time?

Yes, I believe I can. Last time, I only had the Starbucks job. This time I have the Starbucks job, plus the private practice in Jersey, and the mobile therapy again. As of right now, I have six kids to see per week. That's more than I had when I started. If I see them all for the full amount of time I'm given, then I could make $600 a week, outside of Starbucks and the private practice.

Why didn't I do this before? Well, that's the scary part. I stopped seeing these kids because I just kind of lost heart. Lost faith that I was doing a good job with them. Thought I was stealing money. But my Soon-To-Be-Doctor friend is helping me this time, because he has a few of these cases as well (I hooked him up with them when I was on my way out). He's giving me peer support and supervision, really, in the practice. With that and some self-directed re-education, I think I can hang in there. Long enough, at least, until that insurance company makes me a healthcare provider and my work in the private practice can increase. And long enough, at least, until I've completed the requirements for the NY license.

In other words, I'm not down for the count yet. It's not wise to stay in NYC, and lose rent money while trying to suffer through these waiting periods, but I don't feel like I can do any different. New York City is attached to the happiest day in my life, and I don't think I'll ever feel right in my spirit unless I'm here.

Boy, I bet The Doctor could help me with that.

Regardless, if the judge on the 24th decides she knows what's best for me, and orders me to get evicted, then I will go to my Newly-Discovered-Friend's house in Jersey, maintain my current flows of income, and pay off my debts more quickly. Then amass my nestegg and return to NYC in style. I can only hope, in that instance, that 1) It doesn't take too long, and 2) My Newly-Discovered-Friend doesn't have some dramatic meltdown while I'm trapped living in his house.

Mmh. Doctor, I could really use a trip in that TARDIS right about now....

Me at 5/17/2005 10:51:00 AM