I Am Not Lonely for I Have a Television
Perzine, The Depressed Waitress, 42 pgs, thedepressedwaitress.com, $10
The end of a relationship can leave you feeling extremely vulnerable. While there are many excellent zines about why such changes can leave you bereft, this zine addresses the period immediately following a break-up. The narrator’s pain is fresh, dishing high-pitched writing about their considerable efforts to blank out those hard feelings. The Depressed Waitress focuses on the ever-popular ritual of grieving through television marathons. Entire pages are dedicated to quotes from artists and philosophers discussing television and heartbreak, a reminder that numbing oneself is nothing new, and that meaningful art can result from the depths of personal despair. One striking Guattari quote rings out, “my feeling of personal identity is thus pulled in different directions. How can I maintain a relative sense of unicity, despite the diversity of components of subjectification that pass through me? It’s a question of refrain that fixes me in front of the screen.” Indeed, the narrator ignores her bedside table piled with “ancient texts” and theory, and oft chooses to gaze into the blue light of a television screen rather than read philosophy.
The full-colour zine rotates spread layouts. Some pages feature hand-drawn letters, others are walls of solid text. There are several striking splash pages throughout the zine, with motifs of ghosts, skeletons and televisions seen throughout. In all, this zine captures that sinking experience of watching something (anything) so you don’t have to think. This is a provocative and educational read. Write the Depressed Waitress and tell her what you are watching — I’m watching The Sopranos.