August 3, 2020

August 2020, post the first

I didn't do my usual August-is-coming-and-I'm-dreading-it posts this year. I'm find that I mind August less and less. The weather this year hasn't been awful, for one thing, but also, I think the ritual of the horror marathon is really helping. Every year, this month has been a little less bad.

I used to feel disconnected, ungrounded, almost light-headed for much of the month. I'd walk around with a baggy of rock salt and some stones in my pockets, to try to ground myself. I was also usually badly depressed, and felt oppressed by the heat and the light. I'd hide in every way I could, too, in dim, cool rooms.

These past... five years? Yes, I officially started the horror marathons in 2016, although I was ramping up ritualization of the month as early as 2014... five years, then, have been increasingly less-bad. I was almost looking forward to August this year, and distinctly looking forward to all the horror, and to starting to teach my Monsters class.

This year, August 1 was a Saturday. I didn't actually consume any horror media that day, but I did do something many people find extremely scary: I went for a hot air balloon ride. It was glorious, amazing, and beautiful. I'm so glad I went. (It was a belated birthday gift for a friend.)

Last night, my wife (who absolutely can't watch horror, and doesn't like to be in the room with it on in case she looks up at the wrong moment) was up with me, so I didn't watch horror, per se, but I did dig out an old, mildly-creepy occult favorite, The Ninth Gate, which didn't have screams to penetrate her headphones or anything she could glance up and see that would be distressing. It's been years since I've watched it, and it was fun. Johnny Depp (yes, I know) plays a rare book dealer/agent who's asked to compare one of three extant copies of a book supposedly co-authored by the Devil himself with the other two copies, to determine if only one of them is real. Attempts on his life are made, deaths occur, Satanic rituals happen, and a strange green-eyed woman keeps showing up. The tone of the movie remains eerily calm, though.

Tonight, I think I'll watch the 2016 film version of Henry James' The Turn of the Screw.

The first Monsters class went well, by the way.