I figured with today being new Stephen King book day why not try and dedicate another day to Uncle Stevie, here at I Am Geek. While I’m still putting my time in with The Knife of Never Letting Go, a book that was supposed to be a placeholder that I’m actually really enjoying, it looks like End of Watch won’t be started to this weekend or early next week. I’m okay with that. If this book sucked it would be killing me.
I’ve been a Stephen King fan since I was in sixth grade and read Salem’s Lot for the first time. I’ve always been a huge vampire fan and thought that Lot would be a great introduction to the world of Stephen King. What I didn’t know was that I had taken my first steps into finding a book universe that would just consume me. There was a stretch of a couple of summers where I was reading nothing but Stephen King, and that was mostly because I was re-reading the Dark Tower over and over again or books connected to it, but it was still a thing. There have been times where I have believed that Stephen King created this universe just for me. I know that’s not true but I think it more in the sense that he created this universe that I was supposed to find. If that makes sense.
While I’ve read close to forty Uncle Stevie novels, at this point in time, I did put a couple of them off for awhile. Almost saving them for a rainy day so to speak. Think of Desmond from Lost with Turn of the Screw, the Charles Dickens book that he’s saving to read before he dies. I’ve always really dug the romantic nature of that. Saving a book to read as your life is coming to a close. Man, that’s a risk. What if the book ends up sucking? That’s the book you go out on? What a bummer. Choose wisely people when it comes to your death book. Why not just re-read your favorite book? This way if you croak before you finish you still know how it ends plus you’re spending time with your favorite characters. Just something to think about…
One of the books I had put off reading (saving for later) was IT. I know how iconic IT is and I had been waiting for the right moment to read it. You know, one of those moments where the universe speaks to you and says, “it’s time Kevin… it’s time”. I’m still waiting for the universe to tell me when to read Shogun. Maybe this year? Any way, IT was the book I selected to start my yearly reading list and quickly was consumed by it. Outside of The Stand it could very well be his scariest book. Eff clowns.
During this particular time in life I was living in a cold apartment. I don’t mean that we didn’t have heat, we did, just it never felt like home. Was just a place where my cat, bed, and rapidly approaching ex-wife lived, and it was kind of covered in sadness. We had some good times there but I mostly remember it as this transition station into the next phase of life. While we were living there I was reading IT and at night the apartment kind of became super scary. Like I didn’t trust it scary.
Since things between my wife and I weren’t at their greatest we spent a lot of time apart. I would have the apartment and she’d go out with friends or vice versa. On one of the nights that she was out with friends I, foolishy I might add, decided to read IT… and then fell asleep immediately afterwards. Real smart move. When I woke up I had this terrible feeling in my stomach. I wasn’t sick and I hadn’t had a nightmare, but there was this horrible feeling resting in my chest. I was convinced that if I was to turn to my right and look at my dining room table that I would have seen a set of orange balloons tied to the chair, and upon seeing them that would have been it. I would have lost it. Time to commit Kevin. There would have been no going back from there.
I slowly raised myself off the couch and put my hand on the right side of my face, blocking that side of the room from view. I had to. There was this perverse temptation to turn and see the balloons and I couldn’t allow myself to do it. The rational part of my brain, and I suppose I use that term loosely, protected me. But I knew they were there. Knew it to the point where I could almost feel them swaying in the air as I walked past them. I safely made it down the hallway and into bed and somehow managed to fall back asleep. At some point my wife came home and got into bed and I remember asking her if the balloons were still there. Needless to say she was puzzled by the question but I heard enough in her voice to understand that they were gone and I would be able to maintain my sanity.
I didn’t read IT at night much after that. At least when I was alone.