“Interface?…Did I ever tell you about this boy…”

There’s an episode of Doctor Who—The Girl Who Waited—in which one of his companions gets stuck on this planet without the Doctor and her husband. When they find her—the Doctor and Rory—Amy has been waiting for them to save her for nearly forty years and, in a weird time paradox, also no time at all. So there are two Amys: the one who’s been waiting for years and years, who is middle-aged and bitter and different; and the one who only recently married Rory and is young and hopeful and lovely.

He has to chose, Rory does, because there can’t be two of them existing in the world and in the TARDIS. So the Amy who would become the future, the older Amy, gets left to cease existing—which is the least complicated, most brief way I can think to summarize this, even if it’s strange. And as she does, knowing that she’s going to vanish, she says this to the interface that’s kept her company for four decades. It’s such a powerful, brutal moment in this series, and I’m sure I’m not doing it justice, but when I get low about things I always think about this scene.

Did I ever tell you about this boy…

There’s so much love and sadness there—and the total absence of hope. He’s made his choice. He left her, though he loved her, and it’s complex and strange but true.

Did I ever tell you about this boy…

She still loves him though she knows she’ll die—or cease to exist, but basically dieand she loves him still. But she gives him up…in the bit before, the older Amy tells Rory not to let her in the TARDIS, so the younger Amy can live, and not have the horrible memories and years of being left alone. So it’s Rory’s choice to leave her, but she also lets him go.

Did I ever tell you about this boy…

I wonder if sometimes we have to say goodbye to one existence in order to allow another; if, in this world, we kill some parts of ourselves in order to survive.

I wonder what the limits are, what paradoxes we ourselves can carry.

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