Day is starting to adjust to his circumstances in this week’s episode of Last Twilight. But he still has a long way to go before he accepts things as they are.
This week’s episode starts with Mhok helping Day to organize his room so that he can more easily find things. It gives me the perfect opportunity to talk about a Tumblr post I saw after last week’s episode (which I cannot find at the moment) that talked about the fact that in the year since Day began to lose his sight, his family has made zero accommodations for him. He hurt himself in his own kitchen, and they clearly didn’t fix the problem after because Mhok tripped over the same thing. They rearranged the cabinets without telling him.
It’s hard to tell if this is the family not bothering because they thought it was unnecessary, since Day has been holed up in his room. Or if it’s something more like just them being thoughtless. We’re coming into the family dynamics post-Day’s accident, so we don’t know what they were like before. But from the way Day’s mother treated him throughout the episode, it’s reasonable to assume that she has been handling him with kid gloves ever since.
I feel sad for Day that he doesn’t even think he can have fun anymore. The scene where he and Mhok wear the inflatable dinosaur costumes and play in the driveway was so much fun, and Day doesn’t seem like he’s had much of that for a year. But when Day’s mother returns home, he hurries them back into the house. Again, without knowing what the family dynamics were like before, it’s hard to tell whether this is something she wouldn’t approve of in general or specifically because of Day’s disability.
She does seem so pleased to see him eating in the kitchen. It took not much prodding from Mhok to get him to do so, which makes me wonder how much, if any, effort Day’s family put into the same. Did they try for a while before giving up? Did they try at all?
It’s the same thing with him wanting to drop out of university. Granted, I don’t know what the education system is like in Thailand, but I’m sure there are some accommodations for students with disabilities. Have they not looked into those at all? Did Night and their mother make these decisions for Day, and he is just supposed to go along with them?
Of course, the way Day hid from his friends in the library, I assume that at least part of the issue is that he doesn’t want to deal with the pity he would receive. It’s clear that no one knows what happened to Day, and he intends to keep it that way. He doesn’t want anyone to treat him differently, which they inevitably will when they find out.
It seems pretty obvious that Day is putting most if not all of his hopes on getting new eyes. I think that because Day just takes it for granted that he’ll get a donor, he hasn’t tried to adjust to losing his sight at all. His family is the same. No one has really made any effort to teach him to live with his disability; they are doing stop-gap measures because they believe the situation is temporary.
They’ve brought it up in every episode, so I’d wager at some point this is going to be an issue. There are a couple of theories about how this will end up, with the most tragic being Mhok dying and Day getting his eyes. I don’t see that happening because I don’t think Aof would give us such a sad ending. But it could still skew that way, with maybe Night or someone else we know being the one who dies. I honestly don’t think Day will get the transplant, and I think a big part of his character growth will be realizing that he can be a complete person without his vision.
Mhok is going to be a big part of this growth, and we already see it happening. While last week Day joked that he wanted Mhok because he was so wrong for the job, in this week’s episode he admits to his mother that Mhok doesn’t condescend to him because of his disability. Mhok assists him when needed but also lets him be independent – helping him organize his room, cooking for him but letting him get his own condiments, letting him be the one who “found” the book.
There is also, of course, the harrowing scene where Day gets turned around at the market while Mhok is otherwise engaged (beating up Porjai’s cheating boyfriend, while a noble pursuit, probably not the time for that). When he can’t find Day, Mhok puts on the bright pink shirt that Day had bought for him, remembering how Day said that the color was so bright that he could see it from Mars. Gestures like that – like Mhok stepping around Day to block him from his friends’ view – are small in the grand scheme of things, but they mean a lot to Day.
Something I am noticing is how many people are able to understand what Day is going through, at least on some level. He is going through this traumatic experience thinking that no one knows what it’s like. Meanwhile, so far we’ve met multiple people who have their own unique issues that parallel his own. In this episode, we learn that his professor has liver lesions. Because of this, he won’t let Day just lay down and give up by dropping out of school.
But the theme of this week’s episode is yearning. There is so much of it, it’s almost palpable. A certain level of intimacy is to be expected, considering the parameters of Mhok’s job as caretaker. And because Day and his family haven’t been able to properly cope with his disability, Day can’t yet really do anything for himself. So Mhok is needed for things like styling Day’s hair and helping him change. Both of these activities require a certain level of closeness that would not usually be present in two people who have only known each other for a week.
And man, can you feel the tension in these scenes. I think Mhok already has feelings for Day at this point. The amount of effort he’s putting into understanding Day’s situation is indicative of the kind of person Mhok is, but you have moments like the fish tank scene at the end of last week’s episode and then the hair styling scene in this episode. Those moments where the two characters just exist and breathe in the same space. That’s where the deeper feelings begin to come out.
I think the changing room scene was exceptionally well done. There was a lot of sexual tension in that scene even though Day is largely unaware of any tension at all. He doesn’t need to be, because you can see it in Mhok. The way he exhales before helping Day put on his shirt, the careful way he does up the buttons. He makes it a point to be very professional when he does this. He may know what he feels, but Day doesn’t know, and so the scene is very intimate without being sensual. There’s no leering or staring.
I’m glad that Mhok was honest about his time in prison, and I’m equally glad that Day dismisses it as unimportant. It means that Day’s mother can’t use that against Mhok in the future, though I’m sure this isn’t the last time their difference in status will cause problems. Honestly, I’m more worried about how Porjai is going to react to Mhok beating up her cheating fiancé.
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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