Lying in bed this morning, still half asleep, I found myself thinking back on a certain beloved TV show. It was one of those situation comedies that centers around little people and their lives, but in particular I was thinking about the sad-sack main character, who comes into work every day to verbally spar with his feisty secretary, never realizing that she is secretly in love with him.
Of course the audience knows the truth, and that’s what makes the show work. I was thinking about how eventually the actress who played the secretary left the show — one of those inevitable casting changes — and the opportunity was lost for these two people to find happiness together. Even though it was just a silly sitcom, the kind of show where you weren’t supposed to take anything too seriously, it still seemed sad to me, that missed connection.
I could see their faces so vividly in my mind, and little details like her dark pixie-cut hair, his badly fitting suit. Lying half awake, trying to remember the name of the show, and where else I had seen that actor and actress, I gradually realized that none of it was real.
There had never been such a show. My half-dreaming mind had made up the entire wistful reality in those brief moments between dream and wakefulness.
Before getting out of bed, I took a moment to mourn this show I would never see, this make-believe missed opportunity for happiness, and those two sad, funny and oddly appealing people who would never meet their true love, even in reruns.