AJ Soprano and my ‘revelation at hand’

I made it to an “Easter” gathering on Sunday night and came back to catch the Sopranos episode titled “The Second Coming” on A&E. I think that AJ’s characterization in that episode and those leading all the way up to AJ’s suicide attempt accurately captures the course that depression takes. He becomes mad and agitated about practically everything,  he can’t be bothered with the rest of life, but somehow can become consumed by something like a writing or current events at hand and think intelligently about it (like the Yeats poem). Even as he becomes disinterested in most things, he is more engaged in world events, but in such a disturbing way. Yet he drops out of class.  The depression permeates every move that he makes and what he seems to takes interest in only fuels this strange fire within. Then he sees that pool in the backyard. (My view from the condo, coincidentally, is that of an open pool.)

And he jumps.

I usually tear up and start to cry when I watch that episode, but before I cried as I watched AJ agonize and then take that dive. This time, the tears came when I saw Carmela sobbing as AJ is wheeled into the hospital. And then you see that agonized look on Meadow’s face. I watch as Tony and Carmela deal with what has just happened. That’s what I can barely shake this time around. It was really the first time I saw that episode through the lens of the family members around him and how that one incident affected them.

I’ve gained some distance between myself and having to watch AJ’s suicide attempt. I thought about something else instead. If one’s seen past this episode, we know that by the end of this series, AJ eventually becomes okay, gets a nice, new car, a cushy job and seems to forget that things are happening in the world that still should disturb him. I’m afraid that I’m somehow leading a life kind of like AJ’s.

My life has been mostly privileged, thanks to my parents and their hard work. Sure, things haven’t been great for me lately, but right now as I finish typing this out, I’m just hanging out with my cat, watching “Top Chef” in a condo that’s been given to me. I’ve never held a job that could ever pay for the life that I lead. I do come across as being fairly passionate about current events, yet that passion has never materialized to being…anything. And if it ever came close, I seem to throw those opportunities away. “He’s got the world by the balls,” Tony says about AJ’s life and what’s been available to him.  Well, everything has been handed to me, too. In the end, I felt like AJ was kind of back to being a bit self-centered and completely taking advantage of his parents’ support. And I thought one more thing.

Have I become AJ Soprano?


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