In 1970s there was a song written by Terry Jacks and sung by the Poppys. It went something like this, “Evil Grows in the dark where the sun it never shines, evil grows in cracks and holes and lives in people’s minds”.
In my mind one of the scariest scenes in any movie, was in the Exorcist and not for all the obvious vulgar things but a more subtle scene at the start of the movie. Where the Priest is in the Middle East and where the music, the chaos and more specifically the Dogs Fighting. Evil v. Evil.
It is in those cracks and holes and scary dark places, the imagination can run amok as the incessant hammering in the old town and blind sages suggesting something truly unhuman.
I remember as a young child jumping off the teeter-totter and the guy on the end bounced like that ball in the cartoons where you sing a long with silly songs. Was that an act of evil or me playing the game and testing it’s limits? Was this part of my Dad’s favorite pastime of wrecking me on my little red wagon or dumping me on the sled. A habit that has in part made me hyper-anxious and mistrusting.
For me the darkness was a kind of shield where I could go unnoticed or maybe it was caused by being molested in a storm cellar in Texas by an older boy. Maybe it was a grim reminder of some kind of attention even one I had no idea of that time.
I loved watching the snow at night and where there is little or no snow, rain or wind. Waiting for school to be closed and not having done my homework. My kind of passive-aggressive Russian-roulette. I also like walking in it, I was virtually alone and safe. Like maybe the cold prevented THE antagonist from inflicting more pain and sadness.
I was also a sentinel guarding the gates against sudden fury. Like a life-size chess game I planned several moves ahead and this usually gave me the upper-hand. In a grocery store I still feel trapped and almost feral. I feel as if I can detect evil just by looking at a person. So if I see that kind visible clue in the store I am more inclined to try and flee as soon as possible.
The thunder and the rain also is a weapon of mine. The sounds of violence and the washing away of tears. Those tears like Teflon let the fears ease as they run into the gutter. The sun impinges upon that sanctuary like heavy steps they are first heard and then felt.
Fear like Poppy seeds float to find a new home and like Pollywogs in a muddy ditch they hide. So too, I hid. The hot Texas sun and my friends in a segregated neighborhood marched in harmony while wild-eyed monsters with seething hate got to the front of the bus.
Evil cannot manifest itself in the seemingly sublime while underneath the dark moist rock were hiding earth worms and Rolly Pollys in eggshells. A blue day sunwise can be quite a sight and when people talk about how wonderful it is, I wonder.
To me a mean person is an icicle falling off a house and then that person reveling in it’s mayhem. Kind of like that dude on Oz who plays Mayhem in the insurance commercials. A mean person is even meaner who rapes the soul of innocence and the sharper of the knives are the ones who hold hostage. Maybe my intense aversion to kidnappers are a reaction to my Mom’s pain. Like the time in Florida she hid in my garage from my own father.
This is why to me you can not judge the sky by it’s color or love by ‘I love Yous’.