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Book two: Death and darkness, nothing more.

"It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more." -Albus Dumbledore via J.K. Rowling

Chapter 1: The return of the thing.

It was cold and i was surrounded by monsters. Latex faces and landscapes of makeup floated around me, the smell of autumn in new england danced with the smell of beer and cigarettes twirling and reeling about, occasionally the smell of portable fry-o-lators cut in. Calliopes, club music, shrieks and bursts of nervous laughter, drunken bravado and cheesy canned horror movie cackles drowned out the sound of my friends. I was in Salem Massachuesettes at Halloween and a clown had just tried to eat me.

I hate clowns. I don't like fake faces, they creep me out, and the more of the real face they let through, the worse it is. This is a known quantity amongst my friends, a great amusement to them, and i really had to get my courage up to walk through the haunted wax museum we'd bought tickets to. Okay, courage is not the right word, i think patience is more accurate, i just needed to endure it, it would be over quickly, and at the end i'd be fine. I used my ex wife as a human shield and it was all good. Yeah, maybe i broke geneva conventions, but it was a clown dammit. If the only thing between me and a clown is her...well...she became expendable the second the prefix "Ex" was added.

My friend behind me held onto me, which i found ironic because i was terrified, all i could think of was, how much protection does she expect me to offer exactly? Any one of these demons could startle me enough to give up my own ghost at any minute. I appreciated the vote of confidence but there were (looks both ways, adopts quiet voice) clowns. I made it though, i perservered, my patience was rewarded by being spurt out onto the sidewalk of the quaint New English town to moments later be snuck up on by a ninja like 7 foot tall Jason Voorhees. Of course my friend actually got the brunt of that one. I'll never forget the look on her face when she knew what was behind her and couldn't turn around and held on to that last moment of not knowing the gruesome awfulness behind her and sheepishly whispered "why are you guys backing away?".

This was the night i realized i missed this space. That I hadn't been here in some time because my last entry "Going Backwards" was such a nice way to end something. It felt like trampling over that with more of my fascinating insights was just kind of a dick move. I thought maybe the parthenogenic man had been birthed, but lo it was not so. Because i realized that while i touched on the idea that i'm going to explore in Book 2 (pardon the literary affectations, but i'm a book nerd at heart)i hadn't really gone there, hadn't really done the full vivisection, placed the organs on the table, took sepia toned pictures of their deformities, and set them down in the catalog. You know a lot about me by now, probably more than some of you want to, but even I don't know the part of me i'm engaging now. Its the thing that gives me mass, it's the god particle, it's the dark matter.

It's my fear.

But why now? Why wait so long from the near death by clownicide?

Cuz deep down in my soul i'm a druid, man. Hell, my name even evokes it, Cory Drew-id? I'm druish, and occasionally i'm a druish princess.

This is the dying time. Today, the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, the first day of winter. This is the time of year we have, since time forgotten, railed against the darkness. Chaunukah, Christmas, Saturnalia, Yule, Mummers day, New Years Day, Kwanza, the Oscars. Its during this time that our pagan brains remember the unknowable, the death around the corner. Winter is when our neolithic stomachs prepare shortbreads and smoked meats and pray that another tribes warriors take them before starvation does. We set trees ablaze, we look up to the brightest star and follow it to human salvation, we reenact the miracle of oil that burned and cursed the darkness of bigotry and hatred. We know that we will face fear, darkness, the cold, hunger. We also know the light shines, it shines through that pitch black and tells of a brighter warmer time if we just persevere every day will get a little brighter. With fire and food, salvation and sex we do everything we can to make the scary darkness liveable, to face the fear and let it pass through us, to put us on a level a playing field with the sprites, goblins, and flesh eating ghouls lurking beyond the periphary of our vision.

All of the things we do as a SPECIES this time of year we do as a quest to cast light and illuminate that which would harm us, to see our demise approaching and have a fighting chance against it. It has nothing to do with the New I phone or whatever ludicrous gift people are buying each other this year, or a fire place video on tv, or cookies and ham and songs. And yet it has everything to with it.

I'm afraid. I am deeply afraid. And this darkness is like black sand all around me. I feel it's weight, i feel the strangeness of it's matter, the chitter of its cockroach legs and the low tide smell of its decay. I need some light to scatter it, at least a bit of it, to the corners. This is me following the star. This is me setting a match to the last of the oil on the 7th night and nibbling on some Latkes. This space has always been my zero chamber, my regeneration, its an integral part of my healing, and i need it now more than ever.

Happiest of Holidays to you, whatever you celebrate even if it's just your humanity. I have no gift for you but you are a gift to me. You are a light to me in dark places, when all other lights go out.


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