Today's thing is a sequel of sorts to one of the stories in A Creature Wanting Form which should be arriving pretty soon if you ordered it! You'll have to be a paid subscriber to read this piece below in full which you can find here. Here's a coupon for 25% off a year's subscription.
I was looking at my phone on the couch when D. looked up from her phone on the couch and she goes please don’t ever open the door for a strange woman if she arrives asking for help. This was the second time she had asked this favor of me in the span of a few weeks and so I figured it must be something going around on her version of the phone that I wasn’t privy to on my version of the phone. The way her world is infinitesimally different from mine and yours is from hers and so on and so on. Next thing one of us is trying to convince the other that they are lying to us about the war.
Not just disputing facts and motivations and conspiracies I mean but suggesting that it isn’t even happening at all.
Even if it’s a woman who seems like she’s in distress D. said and I said I don’t know if I can agree to these terms on a blanket policy level. I think it’s going to have to be on a case by case basis I said. I’ll kind of be freelancing on the matter I said and she said you can say you’ll call someone for help obviously just don’t invite them inside.
I think that’s the rule for vampires not ladies I said and she said vampires aren’t real but this is.
Our niece had slept over a few nights before and she’s at that age where she’s starting to watch horror movies and loves to talk about them almost to scare herself on purpose in the daylight when it's safer. To poke her antennas out into what the frightening world can sometimes be in the way that kids do. She asked me what my favorite horror movie ever was and I thought about it for a minute or two and couldn’t decide on just one like I was worried about insufficiently impressing this child with my refined taste and I said well I will tell you one horror movie that has stuck with me because of how abject and mean it was and that is House of 1000 Corpses. It was made by Haverhill Massachusetts’ own Robert Bartleh Cummings I said and she said she hadn’t heard of it. I thought about pulling up More Human Than Human for her on YouTube to illustrate what the nineties were like for me and her parents more than anything but instead I said have you ever heard of the band Wet Leg and she said what and I said have you ever heard of the band Wet Leg and she said yeah. She said that she had heard of them. D. said what band are you talking about and I sang a little of Chaise Longue with the cute accent and everything and she said oh right.
I don’t think I’ve ever spent any real time in Haverhill despite having a degree in Massachusetts Studies (unaccredited) although I know it’s a decently large river milltown that has probably seen better days even though it was founded something like four hundred years ago. To be frank I imagine the days were worse then no matter what it’s like there now. No one ever says a town has seen worse days it’s always the other way around.
I have been to or at least driven through Lawrence and North Andover and Methuen and Salisbury and Amesbury and definitely Newburyport all of which are basically on the Merrimack river which dumps out into the Atlantic Ocean where they would have been shipping the lumber and whatever else it was they processed in Haverhill for all those decades. I wonder how much it would fuck up the course of human history if I travelled back in time a couple hundreds years and played the good people of colonial Haverhill a few cuts off of White Zombie’s Astro Creep: 2000. Maybe instead of gratitude for introducing them to the concept of riffs they would just kill me instantly with an ax and pretend none of it ever happened and I’d be there bleeding into the soil I was always meant to bleed into much later on going the gag wasn’t worth it. I’ve made a mistake here.