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January 21, 2022

A big red couch potato

Yes, you read that right, dear reader, sometimes I behave like a big red couch potato. With nowhere to go and no one to talk to, my heart is often heavy and sad. So to take my mind off my loneliness, I sometimes spend hours and hours watching TV shows that have a funny way of capturing my attention. I watch everything and nothing while waiting for a kind-hearted giant to capture the terrible Omicron and free me from this new slavery.

With my responsibilities reduced by three-quarters, will I wait for a Boeing jet to land in my backyard before I fly away? Don't I still need to explore the world before I reach the end of my life? 

So here I am, triple vaccinated, confined and a veritable victim of all these made-up stories that only serve to make me dizzy. Forgetting all about myself, I sink into the red velvet couch like a big, helpless potato. I become irresponsible and unable to accuse my aggressor, the real culprit. That tiny, invisible virus driving me mad as it whirls its way through every city on the planet.

With no philosopher to rescue me or mom to scold me, my existential state is in sore decline. I realize for the first time that TV is a drug that prevents me from being myself, taking away my responsibility for my choices. I’m also afraid that this global lethargy may be affecting our understanding.

Most of the time, when I approach the TV monster, a thousand excuses come to mind. I've cooked, I've cleaned, I've read and I've managed to write a good number of paragraphs. What else is there left to do? My red velvet couch is so comfortable that I often sink into it for an hour that somehow drags on and on. 

It’s alarming how my lifestyle is devolving. In the old days, before this global pandemic, I never turned on the TV until after sunset. And now it's an open bar at all hours of the day, chained to the TV monster. Doesn’t it feel like we’re being entertained instead of choosing to be? 

I never thought in my life that a TV screen would take up so much space in my day. Under the pretext of listening to news from the prime minister and his medical team, I often open the monster's mouth at high noon and let the circus into my mind.

After the hospitalization counts, unfortunate deaths, the percentage of caregivers unfit for work and other timely information, the screen lures us on with a rundown of the season's new releases, movie premieres and a hundred other distractions as addictive as my delicious homemade fudge.

When I watch TV, my personality no longer exists. Carried away by the ongoing story, I am just a pair of eyes hungry for emotion. I become part of the drama, my mind twisting with the discomfort of each character. A slave to the TV, I become a corpulent vegetable mesmerized by the screen. I don’t even protest when four lengthy commercials interrupt a short episode.

I hate this latest version of myself. As I write this morning, I realize how serious the situation is. It’s clear what must be done: I must reduce my trips between the kitchen where I write and the living room where I waste my time. Since the beginning of the pandemic, my own reality has been agitated by a newly activated memory that brings me a hundred stories to recount that happened to me for real. The creation of my company, my childhood, my life as a young mother, as a businesswoman, as a retiree and finally as a well-intentioned writer.

Writing this letter is very important to me; it reunites me with my great passion from long ago. Freed from life’s demands, I can finally devote myself to it. I no longer have a minute to lose by ingesting made-up stories that only rob me of precious time.

I am not writing TV off completely. On the contrary, it is an excellent medium for information and entertainment. But THE BIG POTATO THAT I BECOME WHEN I OVERINDULGE IN GOOD THINGS MUST LEAVE MY LIVING ROOM.

Yes, you read that right, dear reader. I wrote it in big capital letters as proof of my sincerity. The time remaining to me to live and write is far too precious to waste on nonsense. Don’t you agree?