The last two days have been spent reading through and making corrections to the manuscript for the forthcoming edition of Tales of Pain and Wonder from Subterranean Press. Every time I come back to it, the length of this collection surprises me. And how it manages to so perfectly encapsulate a time and place in my life, 1994—1999, that surprises me, too. Well, 1994-1999, that's really two times and two places. Monday, we did "Glass Coffin" and "Breakfast in the House of the Rising Sun," both written in 1996. Yesterday, we did "Estate," "The Last Child of Lir," and "A Story for Edward Gorey," which got us halfway through 1997. Fortunately, we proofed "Salammbô" back on August 18th, so we're now midway through the book. I hope to be done with this read-through by Friday. It's not easy, reading these stories I wrote ten years ago, not easy trying to see through the eyes of someone I no longer am. More ghosts back that way than I care for, especially given how many ghosts still inhabit my present. I feel like I'm going through a box of dusty old photographs, and almost all the faces I see are dead now, or gone; dead or simply lost to me.
We're taking our walks late in the evening, towards midnight, when it's cool enough for walking. It is much better at that hour, anyway. Very few other people, more silence. I will reclaim myself from this atrophy.
There was a dream this morning, shortly before I woke. Waking overlapped with the dream, so it ended or went on without me, or merely went on without my perceiving it. All these options work for me. In the dream, I knew what thunder tasted like. I was inside gigantic house, trying to find a window, but all the rooms seemed to be interior rooms, no matter how far out from the center of moved. The floor was submerged in several inches of filthy water, and I was barefoot. I heard voices behind some of the doors, and was always too afraid to open those, even though I suspected they were the ones that led to windows. The floor of one room was a great black cataract or waterfall, a pit into which the house was draining, and I stood in the doorway, watching the spray and mist and the blackness at the center of that hole.
Okay. The platypus just said, "Enough dilly-dallying." When the platypus starts using strong language, I know that it's time to do as sheheit says. We have to get through Tales of Pain and Wonder so I can get to Joey Lafaye and Sirenia Digest #22. No rest for the wordy.