He saw teenagers carrying flammable cans / of kerosene and boxes of wooden matches, torching / the discarded carcasses of Fords and Chevies, / spreading flames through abandoned buildings / and unused factories, lighting one-story houses / on narrow lots in small neighborhoods.
“You’d find certain archetypes that would appear no matter what. For instance, the haunted merchant’s house in New York plays off the mythology of the unmarried woman, the spinster, as does the Winchester House. Things like this would crop up unexpectedly across the country, despite their radically different places and stories and cultures.”
At least when the monster exists in the world, we don’t need all this tiresome self-reflection. In politics, in Stranger Things, we know what we’re protecting, what we love (the townspeople! our way of life!) and we analyze the external enemy simply in order to defeat it.
Although there are hints of trouble in my grandmother’s book, I had never seen them. I was glad to own it, but I was overwhelmed by the tedium of her attempt to accent the rosy endurance of this immigrant family she had married into. My grandmother’s truth was the one that forgot or erased pain and remembered only joy.
My latest partner in the ERV speaks with a Dixie drawl. Val is not her real name. Born in Missouri, reared in Flint, she has lived here over forty years. A former nurse in her late fifties or early sixties, she reminds me of my Aunt Doris; the cigarettes, dry barking laugh, dip of the chin inviting flirtation, conspiracy, or both. She is among the first residents hired by the state to keep the city supplied with potable water. Standpipes, I call them, people who bypass compromised plumbing, conveying the most basic of needs into Flint homes.