This is a story. The creator knows it is a tiny world, sacred. It does not use the creator’s name but tells the whole story of the creator like one thread tells the whole sweater. Today the creator looks at it, sees it precious, plucks lightly. It is not disturbed, has not noticeably changed since the last check. The creator, comforted, tucks it into its proper place, and it nestles and naps. The creator steps onto the street, strolls toward the bagel shop, and the story rides along in a pocket. It is not seen; its nooks are not known; the story is not rudely handled, jostled, criticized. It is perfectly comfortable. The creator knows that it will become restless – soon it will uncurl, stretch its legs, announce its readiness, and the whole world will make a space for it, sing to it, cheer it forward, and the creator will be the right person in the right place and the right time for it, and it will pop from the womb fully formed, joyful and perfect. A great many people will love it for its truth and hope and the creator and story will each be loved for their part in the other. Soon. Not quite today. The creator feels in his stomach that the story, between its meticulous untuckings and retuckings, has been growing and gaining power. It has its own volition. It will be a force. But not today, because as the creator savors the taste of anticipated prodigy and crosses the street to the bagel shop, a Prius comes through. It’s too fast for much feeling. Head and back and heels against the road, the creator untucks and retucks the story again. Makes sure it is comfortable. It is safe.
The star of Dagon is its texture: dripping rain and water, damp stone carved smoother than it should be, grating mollusk shells and teeth, rotten wood and rotten skin. The CGI is a weak point; it’s a movie with flaws and foibles. And it doesn’t wink at the audience like Re:Animator, or truly transgress boundaries like From Beyond. Dagon is about something more serious, more human, something that can make people skin other people alive: worship. Just know that on the path of worship you may find gold, but you may also find your hands too changed to hold it.
From Beyond is about the skin on your face: it is thin, ready to retract, gleeful to reveal the murk underneath. You will enjoy its peeling at first. From the moist humus of the flesh below will spring your ancient glands morphed into the sense organs of the future. This is a warning. If you explore your animal nature too deeply, it will change you permanently – to be reduced to a trembling schizophrenic is a light punishment. If you’re unlucky, you will become known to the deeper hungers. And to those predatory, bottomless, gooey appetites, “Humans are such easy prey.”
Re:Animator knows its purpose: it shows the ambition of men, the thirst to pierce and twist the will of others. Everything else is along for the ride and not to be dwelt on – the everyman and the love interest are rather bland, the cast is small, the sets are few. The movie’s flavor shines out like fireflies: David Gale’s eyes, Jeffrey Comb’s necromantic fluid, the doomed cat’s bright dark fur, all popping into and out of frame, never totally forgotten when absent, often funny when present, always surprising to see appear and disappear. Two words sum it up: brilliant fun.
This is a dream I had during the night of March 15, 2016. It inspired me to begin writing a novel. I still have the plans for it sitting around somewhere…
The dream felt like a movie. It was set in some 80’s world, kind of visually similarly shot to The Warriors. There was a clear protagonist, a young white male who was forming a band with his friends. They were starting to make it big (as per That Thing You Do, which I watched a little of last night) and got a gig at a concert house venue. They played there but a fire interrupted the gig, and for some reason the building was sealed to cut off the fire, but one of their band members was still inside. I remember in the dream it was 5AM and I was sitting in my car in a parking lot. I was, under the orange light on my dew-beaded windshield, waiting for something. I turned on the car and drove it. I got to the venue. I went inside with other people, maybe other members of the band.
The interior was dark, and then blue and a little smoky with the light coming in from the opening of the two big, metal doors. There was sort of a ring of wood around the interior. The ring was maybe ten feet wide with various things on it. In the middle there was a drop, and I came to see that in the hole there was water a few feet down. The band member that had been left inside had somehow been transformed into a pink rat, or maybe he had been that the whole time; but he was swimming around in this water and sort of clinging to objects that were floating in it, trying to stay up off the surface and trying to avoid something big and unseen that was swimming there. The fire had opened a portal to somewhere else; the water was lit from below with yellow light. The dream kind of ended there, but damn, it had a cool feeling of real art to it.
Written on 2017/9/1.
When I was a child you told me right here that all I needed to do was try my best.
How long have you been waiting tables, sleeping on the couch until noon, writing and drinking on the weekends?
Look, it’s not easy after what I’ve been through, I’m getting better and I’m getting out of this.
If your mother saw this she’d say the same thing, get out and go do something real.
You don’t know what we talked about – I’m making my choices and she always wanted that.
She wanted you to be successful, not with no friends and throwing up every Saturday.
We’ve had this conversation and you won’t talk about my friends, not after everything.
Then maybe let’s not talk and you can just never start turning around.
You think this is all about you, when I’m facing right where –
Of course it’s about me, it’s about me and your mom.
Really, you’ll use a dead woman to tell me how –
Have some respect, don’t talk about her that way.
Then keep this between the two of us.
The anniversary and memorial was last Saturday. They had her pictures all around.
Yeah, you already told me.
Did you see her?
I wanted to.
In 7th or 8th grade I composed this poem in a dream and recorded it when I woke up.
I think it strange
that I would ride
a car of dreams
or train of thought;
still I think it funny not.
It’s amazing how things can fade,
like the tinge on an apple
or a beautiful glade
So here I am,
with a banana as a bandana
and a sheep as a jeep,
blowing Nazis to hell and smithereens.
I wouldn’t like it to end this way,
but they are out to get me, say,
it would be me or them in the end.
Like the camel and his “humph”
people say, oh, it’s fair that way
but they aren’t in his body, are they?