I hate a guy with a car and no sense of humor.
—Halloween (Dir. John Carpenter, 1978)Soph texts me a picture. It's a parked car at the end of her street. It's the exact station wagon from Halloween Michael Myers steals to escape the asylum where he was confined during the years after he murdered his sister in a psychosexual fit. My first car was a 1993 Volkswagen. The speedometer didn't work which was funny as in it made me nervous, induced a fearfulness of the endless or undetermined, probably a latent cultural prerogative's structural trigger. How fast am I going and when will this be over? It's easy to determine the horrific motivations of monsters to violence. They're often banal, clear and resolved, a shape inexorably approaching at a determined velocity. A friend invited me over to their place for a drink. Though we've been friends for a while, as in we've exchanged logins to a couple streaming apps, I've never seen the inside of their apartment, but I know they live without roommates. I imagined something reasonable: Ikea, maybe a coffee table, a correlation with trends and aesthetics compounded through capital's stranglehold on our pataphysical relation to what we imagine as signifiers of ourselves. We watched an episode of Twin Peaks (third season, which I'd already seen), the one where the goblin in the box shreds those two teenagers. I was high and a little freaked out—less due to Lynch than my own underlying anticipation of a sporadic, structureless panic—and walked home that evening, nibbling my friend's water crackers. I used to suffer terrible anxiety attacks, existential terror sirening through me and parking in my collar, floodlights shining, filling in the gaps between my bones. I still have them, but they are less frequent, their mitigation a remedy of CBT and on-again, off-again analysis. I think I need to relax. Should I relax? Okay, I'm relaxing. Ben gave me the password to his Shudder account. Zombi 2 (1979) and Tourist Trap (1979), a camp classic double feature. A shark attacking the living dead and—up next—shambling mannequins who telekinetically torment stranded vacationers have a calming influence. Their excesses, both gore and genre, render its vehicle so replete each becomes an antidote for any lesser dread.[Brooklyn, 10/31/18]