The Smiths, "The Boy With The Thorn In His Side"

>> Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It has nothing at all to do with Halloween.  It's just been stuck in my head a good bit lately, possibly because I think there's a riff in The Kinks' "Lost And Found" that may sort of echo part of the riff in "Boy With The Thorn"; probably coincidentally, or maybe even not-at-all-except-in-my-head.

We have the ScatterKat moved in and she's turned her keys back over to her former landlords.  This is awesome, but a little stressful, too.  There are things everywhere and everywhere there are things.  The insanity was to be expected, but that doesn't make it less insane.  It's good, you know, but transitions are interesting times.

It's left me with Halloween and the October time, possibly my favorite time of the year, having passed me by.  I pulled Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes, one of the perfect October books, off the shelf at the beginning of the month to reread it for the nth time and I haven't finished it.  Which tells you something of how underwater I've been (and this is why I mention it): Something Wicked is not only a short novel, it's also a sprightly one; indeed, when I've had a few minutes here and there to pick it up, I've blown through vast chunks of it in single sittings.  Bradbury divvied it up into four sections and I'm down to the final one, and maybe have actually picked up the book and read it three times in the past month, so I'm blowing through it a section at a time, basically.  I imagine I'll finish it today or this evening, at least I plan to.

Maybe it's just as well I'm having so little opportunity to get at it.  One of the major themes in it, you may recall, is mortality, an appropriate October subject--October is the late middle age of the year, when all things wind down toward winter, the trees blaze into brightness one last time before turning grey like an old man's hair, stooping in those cold winds that fill our bones.  This, I knew picking up the book again; I've only re-read it however many dozens of times and it's not a subtle theme at all.  What I'd forgotten, though, is just how young the book's idea of middle age and imminent mortality seems now that I'm old; I am far closer in age to Charles Halloway than I am to Master William, and Charles' "late-in-life" marriage and fatherhood, referred to several times, happened when he was actually a year younger than I am now.  This may be the first time I've ever read the book when this was the case, and I find myself wondering if Bradbury had any idea what he was talking about--forty isn't old--but, no, he was approximately my age when he wrote the damn thing (Something Wicked was published in 1962, Uncle Ray was born on August 22nd, 1920; depending on how long he sat on the manuscript, he was probably 39 or 40 when it was written, and depending on what month it came out, he would have been 40 or 41 upon publication.)

That's a detour I hadn't quite planned on going down.  The main thing was to attempt an explanation of why there haven't really been any October-themed or Halloween-themed posts this year, whereas in other years I've done reviews of various horror films, etc.  I've been tired, old and busy, I think is the explanation.  But Happy Halloween is what I probably really meant to say.  Happy Halloween.


Carol Elaine Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 6:50:00 PM EDT  

I've had a lot going on as well, to the point where I pretty much forgot Halloween was today until, well, today. For someone who loves dressing up, this is a pretty major forgetting.

Luckily I remembered (with the help of the fantastic Cassandra Peterson appearing on The Stephanie Miller Show) in time to wear my few pieces of Halloween jewelry and to pick up some candy and minor decorations for my office.

As for Bradbury's age when he wrote Something Wicked This Way Comes, I think part of it might be that 40 was older in the 1960's than it is now. There were certain expectations of people in the late '50s/early '60s that we mostly don't have now, so yeah, back then getting married at 40 would've been seen as "being old." Even now, I'm one of the few people in my 40s that I know who's never been married.

So don't take it as, "Damn, I'm old now!" Take it as, "I'm younger than a man my age was 40/50/60 years ago."

Eric Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 10:29:00 PM EDT  

So don't take it as, "Damn, I'm old now!" Take it as, "I'm younger than a man my age was 40/50/60 years ago."

No, that's good advice, CE, and I'll try and heed it.

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