Not a lot of junior high students are David Lynch fans. Now or ever. But 1990 was a very special time—it’s appropriate, really, that Lynch is on my schedule while we’re discussing 1991, but I assure you it’s a complete coincidence. But, yes, 1991 was part of my Lynch fandom; in November of that year, the act of getting The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, I think it was, to a friend involved asking another friend to give it to him. They started dating and have been together ever since, having sent their child off to college last year. So that’s on me and David Lynch.
Of course, it took an unusual seventh-grader, as I was when the show premiered, to get involved in the show. Lynch isn’t everyone’s style, and there’s no shame there. I would watch Blossom if it was on, but it was Twin Peaks that was recorded for me so I wouldn’t miss an episode. I don’t want to be all, “Oh, I was special and cool,” but even at the time, the pop culture footprint of Twin Peaks was that a lot of people watched it without fully understanding it and that it wasn’t for everyone.
At that, Twin Peaks has nothing on a lot of Lynch’s other work. I didn’t see Eraserhead until adulthood. I wouldn’t have liked it then. And if I’m about the only person with an unadulterated love of Lynch’s Dune, well, I do still have an unadulterated love of Lynch’s Dune. I’ve owned multiple copies as formats advanced, and if there were a Criterion release, I would buy it in a minute. And, yes, I first saw it in the days when Twin Peaks was on, and I’ve loved it ever since.
Honestly I’ve always thought of Lynch himself as a weird, cool dude who might be a little insufferable to talk to but would always have something interesting to say. My partner was half-watching The Straight Story when I did, and he had a hard time believing it was a Lynch movie until that scene on the bus, at which point he said, “Oh, yeah, there it is.” I will always be fond of the fact that he loves Bob’s Big Boy, which is a very Lynchian detail that’s also personally significant to me.
Did David Lynch write the “fix your heart or die” line? I’m genuinely not sure. It is key to his philosophy, though. Many of the directors I love—and if there are holes in my Lynch-watching, I do still love him—have a deep love and compassion for humanity. Especially the weird people. Would Lynch and Herzog get along? Who knows, but I’d love to watch them talking. Herzog has fixed his heart, just as Lynch has. Lynch’s particular milieu is the strange currents under the veneer of the normal, and Gods love him for it.