Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Nevermore? Pshaw.

On this day in 1845, "The Raven," by good ol' EA Poe, was published. It was an instant sensation, so it is said.

EA went to UVa. His rooms are still revered, and open to public viewing. I used to walk past them on my way around campus when I worked there almost 20 years ago, and I thought is deliciously creepy that THIS was where Poe the younger spent his days in scholarly pursuits.

For even then I had a strange love for creepy things, and expecially the people who create creepy things. Poe? Poe is a master. In "The Raven" he uses references to gods of learning, to verses in the Bible, sets the poem in the darkest month, and creates a work of plodding tension, if such a thing is possible.

But still, "The Telltake Heart" has GOT to be my favorite work by him. What's not to like about an independently beating heart hidden beneath floorboards, mocking the murderer of its former body, driving him into utter madness? Nothing, I tell you. There is NOTHING to not like about that.

I also like all those awful old movies with lopped-off hands that skitter around looking for their attackers and throttling them good n' dead, and the "brain inna jar" kinds of movies, or the decapitated head flicks where the heads still can speak and plot and do horrible things. Delicious!

(this ---> is also wonderful stuff. Really, an entire HEAD museum? Sweeeeeet)

But the ONE scary movie that totally creeped me out was one that featured a murderer who would spy on people he felt were deformed prior to offing them. All you'd see of this dude was ONE EYE peeking out from behind a curtain or closet or hedge, and when you'd see his next victim from HIS perspective, that person wouldn't have the bits that Mr Murderer thought was defective. The freaking creepiest one was this mute chick, who appeared to him as though she had no mouth. I think I was about 8 when I saw that, and the nightmares that followed were beyond frightening, waking me up in a cold sweat. I made my Dad check my closet every daggone night for hatchet men, and even though he never ever did find one I still made him check, because, after all, tonight could be the night that an evil floating eyeball could choose to inhabit my closet and see me in ways I didn't want to see myself.

Face it, for a young girl with vision issues, a speech impediment, freckles, and precocious adolescence, there was rather a long list of things a random levitating orbit could find wrong with me.

This whole "gotta shut the closet door" thing stuck with me for years. There was one closet in a creaky old apartment that I truly believe was haunted...it was a walk-in type in a building from the 20's. It faced my bed. It didn't really latch properly. The door swung outward. When I would get up in the middle of the night to do whatever, if I walked on certain floorboards (which were unavoidable, really, because the place was so small), the door would sloowly swing outward a few inches, creaking nefariously under its breath, WAITING for me. There were many times when I believe I leapt straight from the bathroom door into my bed, a distance of some 12 feet, because, as we all know, if you don't touch the floor then the bad guys can't get you, and if you're in you BED, then they're contractually obligated to not harm you. Also? You can’t see them in the daytime.

Let's not even mention the storage area tucked into the knee wall which was right NEXT to my bed. To this day I have no idea how big it was or what stuff was really in there; all I know is that it was plenty big enough for a herd of monsters or bloodthirsty criminals to gather in, and so I blocked it off with boxes of books, never to investigate further.

Is it any wonder I spent a whole lot of time over at the "boyfriend of the month's" house?


Dag. I didn't mean to spend so much time on this one thing, but there you go. A gobsmack of words on how I can efficiently creep myself out and love it.

Oh, hey! Don’t forget the
Wordsmiths thang. I've got a really weird idea for mine, and will probably post it tomorrow. Kingfisher picked a cool picture for our inspiration this time; looks like it could be a whole heck of a lot of fun. Join us, won't you?


Have a super day y'all. Get outside if you can. If not, think of me around noon, when I plan to go on a walk in the 60-some degree outdoors and relish the whole idea of Spring's imminent arrival. Mwuah!

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