Here’s What You Missed


Dear Rob,

Remember how in the beginning of every Shameless, there would be a quick intro/recap thing where Frank or one of the kids or one of the other characters would be doing something funny or outrageous, and one of them would eventually say something like, “For those of you who were too fuckin’ busy, here’s what you missed on Shameless last week”? And then they’d show a few plot points from previous episodes that perfectly set up the one you were about to watch? So while you’ve been too fuckin’ busy, here’s what you missed since you ducked out on us, asshole!

Let’s start with the most surprising news, which I’m sure will make you happy: Your stupid fuckin’ Bills are 5-1!  I know! It’s crazy! They just beat the Dolphins, who suck, but your guys still look pretty decent, especially the defense. Whenever I think about the Buffalo Bills, I think about the day you cooked three kinds of chicken wings for me and Zach at my house. A bunch of them were still a little on the raw side because we were running out of gas on the grill, but we ate them anyway and told you they were delicious because that was just the type of thing we did with you.

What else? The Yankees lost to the Astros and the Dodgers lost to the Nationals, so no N.Y./L.A. World Series. I know neither of us really care that much about baseball, but we would’ve maybe watched it together because it would’ve been fun rooting for the Yankees while we were both living here.

I’m not sure why, but I just flashed on watching the Super Bowl with you when you were just two weeks old, and it was the Giants against—you guessed it—the Bills! There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that the Giants would win because we had just brought you home, and I was feeling like the luckiest man in the world. It was a nail-biter that went right down to the wire. With eight seconds left, the Bills placekicker Scott Norwood had a fairly easy 47-yard field goal to win the game. I remember standing up in front of the TV with you in my arms, and when the kick sailed wide right and the Giants won 20-19, I went crazy, triumphantly dancing around with you in the living room, not knowing then that you’d grow up to be an idiot Bills fan.

You know, I’m not sure why I’m even talking sports with you because that was never your thing, so let’s get to the stuff that we both cared about more than anything—TV!

Even though it’s old news, the Game of Thrones series finale was kind of disappointing, but I think you would’ve probably liked it anyway because Zach liked it and you guys have similar taste, which is to say that it’s not nearly as good as mine.

I’m watching a show right now that my friend Skylar recommended and I think you’d really enjoy called Patriot. It’s from a few years back—a real quirky and funny spy kind of thing where some guy goes undercover working at an engineering company in Milwaukee. But the main reason I think you’d like it is that Terry O’Quinn, the actor who played John Locke on Lost, is in it. Dude, remember how much you loved Lost? Little did I know that you’d ever become a character in it.

The third season of Money Heist was just as good as the first two, and that spectacularly hot Spanish woman who plays Tokyo says hi. Peaky Blinders is also back for Season 5, but except for Tommy Shelby, I thought it was kinda boring this time around and stopped watching it after the third episode. I’m sure you would’ve binged it in one night just like you did with the other seasons. Mr. Robot’s final season just began and I wish you were here to explain it to me because I have no idea what the hell is going on with it now. Big Mouth and Mindhunter also dropped new seasons, and I know you would’ve really liked both. Come to think of it, those two shows are also halfway good descriptions of you.

Oh! I almost forgot! There’s a new Breaking Bad movie on Netflix about Jesse Pinkman! Zach really liked it, but for some reason I haven’t been particularly drawn to it. I liked Breaking Bad’s ending just fine and don’t feel like I needed to hear Jesse say “bitch” anymore. I’m positive you would’ve dug it because you loved Better Call Saul, and then you would’ve made me watch it so we could talk about it. And I would’ve told you that it sucked and you would’ve argued that it was great and then we would’ve just eaten more soup dumplings and moved on to something else.

That something else for me has been re-watching The Leftovers. I wanted to see if I’d feel any differently watching it after you became one of the Departed. As great a show about grief as it is, it still doesn’t compare to expressing how I feel about losing you. Although I have to say, right in the beginning of the pilot when the mother suddenly realizes that her annoying, crying baby in the back of her car is gone, and she starts screaming his name—Sam! Sam! Sam!…Rob!—and crying and freaking the fuck out, comes pretty damn close. But it’s definitely helped by the haunting theme music. There was no theme music when I first got the call that you were gone, but “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst” comes pretty damn close.

The only movie I know you would want to see is Joker, but I just can’t bring myself to see it. As you know and have called me on, I can sometimes be a big pussy and hate watching violence, even the stupid, cartoon kind, and I have even less tolerance for it since you’ve been gone. There were only two real Jokers in my life—you and Cesar Romero.

On a completely different note, quick question: Are you still using my Netflix account? Every time I pop it on, your name is still right there next to mine, Zach’s and Maura’s.

So we both know that this is all bullshit and none of it really matters, and all of it pales in comparison to how much I miss you. I miss talking to you about this stuff. I miss hearing your takes. I miss hearing you laugh. I miss you goofing on me. I also wonder if you miss any of this. Part of me hopes that you do and part of me hopes that you don’t.

I know I’ll never stop missing you until I see you again. And then we won’t have to miss each other anymore. And we’ll watch Netflix together, just as long as Zach keeps us on the account.



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