It…The Book…

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In 1986, Stephen King published a book called It.

I was fourteen years old.

My father brought home a hard-bound edition and, like every other book in the house, I had to read it.

Over the course of a single weekend, I read that entire book.

It was not a small book then; it is not a small book now.

My father just sent me a new, now paperback, copy of that very same book, so I will have something to read while I recover from my surgery…

It sat there for a day before it was too much for me.  Even though I am reading it slowly, taking my time, not trying to devour and hog it as I did when I was fourteen, I am still way deep into the book.

I do not think, even at the rate I am currently reading, that I will have any of it left to read by Wednesday evening, once I am home…

It, as it was from the beginning, from the first time I touched it, is an engrossing, consuming book.

I read it once, when I was fourteen.  I never touched that book again.  I didn’t need to.  It is not a book I needed to read and reread to remember…I remember every detail, clearly, from then, now at forty-five…every word, every phrase, every scene, all indelibly etched into my psyche…

Mr. King terrified me way back then, with more than just Pennywise, but it was always a good terror, the kind I loved to return to, again and again.

Pennywise, he never made me feel that way.

A month or two ago, we were in a book store, the whole family, and I heard my husband tell our youngest to watch … and the man began to approach me with one of those kitschy little four or six inch vinyl dolls…this one was a Pennywise doll.  As my husband moved forward, towards me, I started edging backward, away from The Clown, until I couldn’t go any further.

That is how deeply embedded in my brain Pennywise is.

I never look into a drain in any sink.  All of my children are very wary around sewer grates because I made them very wary…and I always check the sewer grates and drains, always, to this day, expecting to see a red balloon floating against the wind…or maybe even a yellow rain slicker…

I picked up the book–I have not seen any movie of It–and I expected to drop into it, reading it and finding parts that I had forgotten.  I had looked forward to those moments of, oh yeah, I had forgotten that…

That is NOT what is happening.

As I read, I sink into the story, I slink back into Derry…and I wonder yet again, how to get away from that Clown, once and for all…

But it never happens…because once Pennywise is in there, in your mind, He never leaves.  He slowly feasts upon you for the rest of eternity, or so I suppose…

I have never seen one of the movies. Yet…this time around…I watched the first preview of the new movie…the one where Georgie meets the Clown…and in that preview…long weeks before my father sent me the book…that preview triggered the original horror and fear in me so badly…I don’t really want to see the movie…because I don’t think I’d ever be able to sleep without a blankie, a stuffed animal, and the lights on … for the rest of my life…

And that is a testament to Mr. Stephen King and his Talent…however, due to the fact that Pennywise has scared the begeebers out of me for so long…I might just have to smack the man when I meet him…just because I can bypass a gypsy curse…or I can look a dog in the eye and be afraid, but keep moving on…or I can wish I was Charlie McGee all I want…but I will never shake Pennywise or the fear of Him…so maybe a hug, a handshake…and a nut tap to be honest … but it would be worth it…but then again, maybe Mr King is haunted by Pennywise as well…so maybe I should skip the nut tap and hand the man a bunch of red balloons and walk away and let It take its course.

 

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