This will, I suppose, be the final stale Hell photo. #34 of 34. The point was to keep going with them until the mercury finally reaches 70˚. But that could well be May, especially this year, and I do not wish another round of overage fees. This little trifle has already cost me $220. Or it will, when I pay the damn bill. So, here you have the final, unremarkable, and pointless installment. Don't eat it all at once or spend it all in one place.
I have a headache.
It seemed like a good idea at the time, heading south to Kathryn's parents' place. They're in New Mexico, some business anthropological. Tuesday night I wrote on Facebook, "In South County this evening. The desolation of winter is even worse here than in Providence. I'd hoped, out in the country, there would be at least some evidence of spring. But no. Dead woods and frozen bogs." I have rarely looked upon such a dead land. The ice in the bogs, the branches scratching at the wide plagiarized sky, a swath of asphyxiating blue above a shit-brown world.
I dare go Outside for very long, and, apparently, especially if I leave the City in the Winter, the anxiety and anger try to eat me alive. I get better, usually, when the sun sets, and I can no longer see the Wrong Light out there.
We drove first to Slocum, where we mailed signature sheets away to Thomas Ligotti. We stopped by Schartner Farms, then on to Saunderstown. It was at least good to see Spider Cat, and her parents' house is warmer than is this House. It seemed as if a hundred species of birds were at the feeders. Here in Providence, we have sparrows and pigeons, and, if we're lucky, a robin, maybe a catbird, a crow. A Spooky's parents' we saw dark-eyed juncos (Junco hyemalis), red-bellied woodpeckers (Melanerpes carolinus) and downy woodpeckers (Picoides pubescens) and northern flickers (Colaptes auratus), a goldfinch (Carduelis tristis), a white-breasted nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis), a tufted titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor), and black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus).
And we watched all of the first season of Nic Pizzolatto's True Detective. Wow. Seriously, wow. The King in Yellow, Karl Edward Wagner's "Sticks," hardcore Southern Gothic, Ligotti's The Conspiracy Against the Human Race, Ambrose Bierce, Algernon Blackwood, William Burroughs, Nietzsche, William Blake, E.M. Cioran, and maybe just a peep at Lovecraft's "amorphous blight of nethermost confusion which blasphemes and bubbles at the center of all infinity," Azathoth. It's always a dangerous game, employing so many influences and source materials so near the surface, but Pizzolatto turns the trick, and then some. The end result is something not to be missed, some of the best weird fiction ever put to film, and possibly the best ever on television. Divided into eight episodes, in truth this is a very long film, and I recommend watching it in as close to one sitting as possible. I'm not sure the series ever misses a beat. It wisely tends to keep its voice down, whispering all the way to the end. Even it's climax seems like a hush, with the weight of so much horror and despair in back of it. Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey are both brilliant, but McConaughey manages to steal the show. He might have been playing William Burroughs, or Burroughs' "fictional" avatar William Lee, or simply Burroughs himself, stranded in this bayou nightmare of cults and the sadism, murder, insanity, inbreeding and tent revivals, hallucinations, elder gods and the insignificance of humanity before the stars and the spaces between the stars. And the video tape. Oh, the video tape, with its demons of the Courir de Mardi Gras. You truly must find a way to see this. To say it's not for the faint of heart would be an understatement. And that's not hyperbole. If you're the sort of wilting flower wants a "trigger warning" on certain episodes of Sesame Street, this is not for you.
Strange is the night where black stars rise,
And strange moons circle through the skies,
But stranger still is
Lost Carcosa. ~ Robert Chambers
Oh. There are some photos that sum up the hours away from Providence:
All photographs Copyright © 2014 by Caitlín R. Kiernan
And I need to try and work...
Cold in Providence,