Breaking News
  • April 265/7-5/8: Senior Exams
  • April 265/10: No School
  • April 265/13: Graduation
  • April 265/27: No School
  • April 266/3-6/5: Half Days for Exams
The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

A televised edition: episode one—pilot

Travis Harshman
Sitting in the sunglight rather than the blue light of the television for once.

Per usual, I power the television on.

I watch TV every night—I’m not sure if it’s out of enjoyment, habit, or addiction, but I find myself in front of a glowing screen each evening. 

I can’t decide what to watch this time around. I’m channel surfing, skipping from 139 to 235, wondering whether I want to watch a soap opera or true crime. I really should just turn it off and go to sleep, but I’m too self-aware to expect that to happen.

Such a minor decision should be made in seconds, but hours slip away as I stare with my eyes glazed over.

Eventually, I reach channels that are no longer in English. As fascinating and entrancing as the scenes playing out are, there are no subtitles, so I can’t quite piece together a plotline. Finally, something I’d be willing to watch, but I am too tired to try and understand the story.

I change the channel.

I’m frustrated, but there is no option other than to watch TV. I’m not interested in staring into darkness while the depths of my mind bring up things that I don’t want to remember—things that I can’t change.

I need to be stimulated by something else, so I’m watching TV. The sound and pictures shove out anything that my brain could possibly conjure up, leaving my thoughts bursting with bright colors and vivid voices as I see them.

I’m flying through the guide now, making a story of my own as I race through clips of TV shows, movies, documentaries, and sports. A quarterback throws a football for a blue whale to catch, and Sherlock Holmes sips wine with the Real Housewives of New Orleans. 

A patchwork, maybe, but the unique film I watch is unlike any other.

A patchwork, maybe, but the unique film I watch is unlike any other. I am actively building it, flipping the digits when there is a call for a scene change. 

And finally, I land.

I land on channel 13.

Unlucky 13, prime number 13, 13 that I never reached when learning times tables. 13 years of my life flipping through these channels that I slap together into my own story. 13 years of trying to jam together puzzle pieces that were never meant to connect.

And yet, in the strangest way possible, the mosaic of the shards of screencaps becomes a somewhat defined image on the rounded face of the television.

Perhaps I don’t just use the television to pass the time. Maybe there’s something more there beyond drowning out my internal echoes.

I drift off, but the TV remains on, the gray light splashing over my closed lids. And, even though my hand has long slipped off of the remote, the channels remain forever inconsistent.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Eva Harshman
Eva Harshman, Editor-in-Chief
Eva Harshman is a senior who is thrilled to be entering her fourth and final year on staff as Editor-in-Chief. Apart from writing for The Central Trend, she enjoys riding her Thoroughbred, Thirsty, spending time with friends, and watching her favorite TV shows for hours on end. She is also an avid competitor in Odyssey of the Mind alongside her teammates who also happen to be her best friends. Although she tends to stick around the people she knows best, The Central Trend has broadened her horizons beyond compare. Being a part of Room 139 has taught her so much; she has met so many people thanks to The Central Trend.   Favorite type of story: Editorials Pets: A bunny (Georgie), a dog (Leon), and a horse (Thirsty) Dream vacation: Tokyo, Japan Favorite books: The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie MBTI and Enneagram: ENTP-T 8w7

Comments (0)

All The Central Trend Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *