I think that, by immersing myself in some truly remarkable weird fiction, I have a more keen appreciation for what makes things wrong. Primarily, that thing is imagination. A particular kind of imagining, that allows a particular kind of inclination to apply itself to an actual thing one encounters, and everything goes dark and cold. Or uncomfortably humid and close, depending on the inclination.
I have a suspicion I know a creature whose inclinations are to the latter. She would better appreciate the soft, somewhat oily texture of the cover of this book I am now reading. She would appreciate that it feels like flesh…the complete wrongness of it.
Not that I don’t think those things enough to be writing about them; she would simply appreciate it more.
On the other hand, I had a moment of terror brought about by my own imaginative inclinations…and I completely forgot about it until I started reading this book.
I drove when Jesse and I left for vacation in June. Driving the whole way up to Michigan and wishing he talked more in the car because I get irritated when I am driving for a long time and can’t sufficiently focus on my own thoughts because I am trying to be a responsible driver, but I have nothing else to occupy the bits of my mind that are not focused on steering and the other cars and whatnot…
And then, on top of not really talking, he fell asleep. Bah and humbug.
So, there I am, driving on a highway with dense trees on one side, and on the other side, a passing lane and more dense trees so that one cannot see traffic in the other direction. Every now and then, some crows are gathered on the side of the road, either eating road kill or daring each other to go out closer to the cars and possibly become road kill.
It was a pretty sunny day. Some little clouds. And suddenly, I noticed a big dark spot in the sky out the driver’s side window.
Everything was the same…happy sun with little, puffy happy clouds…and one dark streak that, as I looked, grew even darker. And I wanted very much to not look at it, but the road curved and I didn’t really have a choice but to drive on and try not to stare at this hole of evening-coloured sky that had opened up in front of me.
The wrongness of it unnerved me a lot, and I almost wanted to stop driving until it went away and I would not have to look at it…but of course that particular stretch of highway is where there just aren’t any rest stops or gas stations for miles and miles…
And I started thinking of all the ridiculous stories about monster things from space, or even about the idea in the biblical book of Revelation, where, at the end of the world, the sky will roll up like a parchment.
And after what was maybe only three or four minutes, the dark spot dissipated…revealing itself to be two clouds which were smooth enough to look like flat patches of sky, and dark enough that they just happened to have an extremely sinister effect when they passed near each other.
And the other day, I thought of this dream I had. The one that I have no easy way to find in my back-log of posts…but it was about traveling through space on an endless longboat with the souls of so many dead Vikings, and passing through a fjord at the bottom of cliffs that went up for miles, and what were topped with vast, white wastelands…
It was an unnerving dream. One where, when I recall it, I still feel uneasy. Who dreams stuff like that, anyway?