p
r
o
m
o
g
r
a
p
h
y
writings about
walking around
,
the prom
,
and
moving forward
.
i watch ``Dawson's Creek`` on the WB.
i started watching the show regularly my sophomore year at Duke University.
and though the show has recently gotten appallingly bad,
i watch it still.
they're filming much of it at Duke this season, you see.

for a year or so, i watched it because Dawson amused me.
i identified with him,
with his improbably large vocabularity and his quasi-adult maturity.
while my friends turned him into a drinking game
(``Drink every time Dawson uses a word that no high schooler could possibly know!``),
i saw myself reflected there.

the next semester, Dawson and I both started questioning
our level-headed maturity, wondering if we had somehow robbed ourselves of a childhood
by growing up too quickly.
i, additionally, became concerned that i'd forgotten how to feel with any intensity.

the next year, love blossomed
between Joey, Dawson's first ``one true forever`` love,
and Pacey, Dawson's best friend.
i knew that this meant trouble.
previously, i'd started dating the ``one true forever`` love
of a suitemate who was, arguably, my best friend in the dorm
and it had no ended well at all.
Dawson acted as my friend did, he through a hissy fit
and decided that he had, and would, always love(d) Joey
and that he wanted her back.
Joey, like the then object of my affections, had to choose.
i watched and i cursed Dawson.
i watched and i pleaded with Joey to choose Pacey.
i watched a drama from my recent past play out with Pacey in the role of me.
and, unlike in my own drama, Joey chose Pacey.
and i watched and felt relief,
reassured that at least on television life might be fair.

the next year and a half is a blur;
nothing much of note happened on the show.
Dawson spent a lot of time angry at Pacey for ``stealing`` Joey from him
and i spent that time gloating over Pacey's triumph.
and eventually both Dawson and i got over our hurt.
and in the season finale, Pacey broke up with Joey
just as my friend has broken up with my once-girlfriend,
but somehow i couldn't manage to blame Pacey
that way i'd blamed my friend.

which brings us to this season,
and right back to Duke
(which is doubling for Joey's college, ``Worthington``),
where i thought i'd left all of these things.
the writing this season has been horrible.
Dawson and Joey tried to get back together
but then Dawson's father died needlessly
and neither one of them handled it very well
in regards to the other.
last night, Dawson, the show's only remaining virgin
gave it up to Jen, his first girlfriend
and the ``bad girl`` of season one who has since befriended everyone.

for a while i was watching the show because,
despite the genre and the cliches,
i identified with the characters and the situations;
now i watch it because they've ended up
where i was during that time
and it's like watching a me that never left
and now inhabits ``No Exit``-as-teen-show.
Father, 11/29/01

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