Thursday, April 07, 2005

What Not To Read Before Going To Bed

Experimental fiction. I'm reading a YA book for review right now and it's like experimental fiction for kids. Funny but very twisted. It incorporates a lot of the fears I remember having as a kid, and many of the stories do not turn out well for the protagonist. So last night I had this terrible long dream that I was kidnapped by a gang and made to be their slave. Even when I escaped after what seemed like weeks (weird how time passes differently in dreams) they came after me. Yikes! I used to have this recurring dream that I was at school in junior high and these older druggie kids captured me out by the lockers (in Arizona our lockers were outside) when no one else was around and they shot me up with some drugs. Here I was just trying to clean out my locker and I got ambushed. As the needle went into my arm I slipped into a coma-like state. I guess I was pretty intimidated by all the "drugs will fry your brain" messages at the time. (This was before Nancy Reagan's dorko "Just Say No" campaign.) Back then it was a class thing--the stoners were a dark breed that kept apart from the rest of us. I don't know if it's still like that.

When I was in junior high I read a lot of Stephen King. I remember I was reading one night in my bed after everyone else had gone to sleep, and I could have sworn I heard the lock mechanism on our front door click open, and the door itself swing open, brushing against the carpet underneath it. Mine was the first room down the hall from the entryway, and I was petrified. Finally I made myself bolt down the hall and into my parents' room at the end of the hall, breathless and giddy with terror. I told my parents what I'd heard and my dad got his GUN out of their bedroom safe and went down the hall in his boxers to check it out. Turns out the door was still closed and the deadbolt was in place. No burglars, no killers, just a really good imagination. They told me to stop reading that stuff late at night, but I don't think I did. I think that was also the year I read Amityville Horror, which I see has a movie remake coming out. I was really into horror for a while there. Now I don't like it. I wonder what changed.

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