One of the things Hannah and I do together is an awesome combination of psychoanalyzing and philosophizing that I just now made up a name for, and that name is philosoanalyzing. This is usually what we do when we’re together. Maybe we think we can solve all the problems of the universe using our funny little brains. Or maybe we just have fun. Either way, that’s what we do, and we were doing it the other night.
Apparently there’s a lot going on in Moscow, which I won’t bother everyone with now. But somewhere during our discussion of the various events that were giving one or the other of us pause, I brought up Doctor Who, because I can now.
And the awesome things we decided (I seem to say a lot of very wise things over Skype, or maybe it’s just my imagination) are that everyone has a piece of the Doctor in them. Does that make him God? I don’t think so. Does it make him the devil? I don’t think that either. Perhaps he is the – well, not happy, but medium. Perhaps he falls in the middle. Anyway, everyone contains a piece of the Doctor.
Hannah’s piece is the temporariness, the fly-by-night, the always moving, the never permanent. I said to her, “You have never had a world, darling. You are the Doctor, and you hop from wherever to wherever and pick people up along the way and then drop them again later according to what they want to do. No wonder you enjoy that show. You are used to change.” She is the nomad. That is her piece.
Tanner’s piece is the deep-seated anger. I’ve talked before on this blog (or maybe on the previous one) about how his Wonderland fell apart. He did have one. He had a world. And even when it started to fall apart he tried to rebuild it – in some cases literally (after all, he is an engineer). But that has all gradually been ripped away. No wonder he’s angry. He is the Doctor in the stages right after Gallifrey was destroyed. That is his piece.
Derek’s piece of the Doctor is the incredible loneliness. Derek feels himself all alone in the universe and he is far too often unwilling to reach out. But it’s not because he hates everyone or doesn’t think they’ll respond. His is simply fear. He is just plain afraid. That is his piece.
Matt’s piece of the Doctor is the part which is lonely, but refuses to admit it, and then goes and fucks something up. See: David Tennant specials. He’s got no idea who he is or what he’s doing or why, but he keeps plugging and he refuses to change a thing, and he’s rather egotistical along the way. And unless something changes drastically he’ll regenerate alone on the metal floor of the TARDIS. But he is still (again, see David Tennant specials) so lovable, with so much potential to be happy. That is his piece.
We also talked about my piece of the Doctor. Hannah had this to say: “I think you wish for the adventure, but also you enjoy his clever quirkiness, and you know what it feels like to be alone.” I agreed with those first two. Taking that funny, half sarcastic half whimsical tack to life. That’s me. No wonder I like Christopher Eccleston so much. But that’s not a piece of the Doctor per se. That’s an outward attribute. So I thought about the third one for a while.
Right after Doug left I had this massive depressive phase. I don’t say depression because I don’t think it was clinical. It was just this emptiness. Kinda like I felt walking around today after I heard the jazz band was gone, except for much longer. And for a while after Matt, too. But with Doug it was massive. I was just so empty. All the time. And lost. I had no idea what the hell I was doing or what I wanted to do. I’d had someone for so long who could either agree with or shoot down everything I said (and actually did both in nearly equal proportions, now that I think about it). I’d had a response, when I reached out. You know? Like throwing a tennis ball at a wall, and it’ll always come back, and then the wall disappears, and there I was reaching out at almost absolutely nothing. I have a lot of thoughts to offer, I think; that’s why I write and why I love Hannah and Derek because they let me use them as a wall. And for the longest time I just had no one to react to me. Sometimes that’s why I struggle with my near-chronic singlehood. Nobody’s there to react to me. Although whether or not that’s a good thing for them, God knows.
So that is my piece of the Doctor. I need a companion, but it’s extraordinarily demanding for the companion, which is why my favorite companions are extraordinary people. Hannah and Derek come to mind. I need people to bounce things off of. Someone to absorb my energy, if you will. I am self-sufficient, I am independent, I do not fear solitude, but I am best when I have someone who opens my Pandora’s box, who gives me a background to shine against, who knows who I am. That is my piece of the Doctor.
Side note: when David Tennant regenerated alone on the TARDIS floor I nearly did cry.