It’s been quite some time since I’ve been able to lay back, kick my feet up and relax with a good book/e-reader on my lap. I’ve had the urge to dive back into reading lately but every time I get an iota of time that (sometimes ugly) thing rears its head up and rips the book from the grips of my hands – that “ugly” thing being, LIFE! Sure, maybe if I had a firmer grip on things (the book), I might be able to get through more than just a chapter or two. I believe, at the time of this writing, I have 2 or three books unfinished and still pending to completion: Jazz 101 by John Szwed, The Haunting of Ashburn House by Darcy Oates and Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill). Not that I didn’t have any interest in any of these books. On the contrary, I just didn’t have the time to finish them.
But, because of that ill-fated “bug,” otherwise known as an “itch,” my nose is back inside the pages of a book! I have to give credit to my four-year-old daughter for getting me back into a book. She wants us, mother and father, to bring her to the doomed brick and mortar conglomerate that is, Barnes & Nobles, more times than I would like so she can sit down with a cup of Joe while reading the intricacies of turn of the century romance literature. Or, as she would call it, PLAY TIME! Yes, it would be play time for her while my wife sits nearby all the while making sure the little one doesn’t get into any kind of “trouble” as one would at a bookstore. I, on the other hand, would peruse the countless book aisles in search of something (anything) that caught my eye. Never knowing exactly what I wanted, (much like when I used to walk into the local video store and spend hours looking for something to watch) I would skim through titles and authors – genres from fiction to non-fiction to occult and mystery then dig through the store’s mediocre vinyl and Blu-ray selection. All the while looking for something to catch my eye, I would scoff at their ridiculous prices. All of this was the tell-tale sign of being “lost” and indecisive (and cheap/frugal), which only lead to frustration and getting on Amazon.com to search for both reviews and [cough] better prices, yet never making a purchase. Yes, frustration, indeed.
The flavor of the month, this time, was True Crime and I set my sights on The Lost Girls: The True Story of the Cleveland Abductions and the Incredible Rescue of Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus by John Glatt – try saying that in one breath! I remembered seeing this story in the news and being flabbergasted as to how three women could be held captive for roughly ten years in someone’s house. And so, I dove right in, and the story was quite captivating and downright creepy.
One would think that kidnapping these women would be a challenging and cumbersome feat but, rather, it was rather quite simple to do according to the monster himself, Ariel Castro, who in some form or another knew at least two of the three kidnapped girls! He would speak to the parents of one of the girls often expressing his “condolences” for their missing daughter and had even invited the father over to his house (prison) while his daughter was just above him on the second floor tied to a bedpost! It boiled my blood reading this book and gave me the chills when I was reminded that this is a work of non-fiction and something that happened. The manner in which it was written was to-the-point and matter of fact as it detailed Ariel Castro’s manner of the kidnappings as well as the horrific way he treated the women including impregnating some on more than one occasion! Of course, I won’t go into the details as they are rather graphic and disturbing. Plus, it can be found on the internet with a quick search of the whole ordeal.
While reading this book, the trailer for the new film adaptation of Stephen King’s IT was released which put me on a ‘King-kick’ plunging me into wanting to read the book based on the upcoming September release of the said film! I’ve always wanted to tackle reading this book but every time I saw it at the bookstore and picked it up my mind went elsewhere, specifically, anywhere but reading this book! This thing is massive and, quite frankly, intimidating. There were some things I could be doing rather than reading this gargantuan of a book. I mean, after all, I did see the 90’s TV adaption of the same title. That adaptation could not have been that far off, right?
And so, I took the old blu-ray off the shelf, popped it in and started to relive a childhood favorite of mine that scared the hell out of me and punctuated my fear of clowns. I saw IT: Part I and boy was I utterly disappointed! I was scared of this?! I said to my wife who was also terrified by Pennywise the clown when she was a kid but, like myself, was not impressed at our viewing of the TV movie as an adult. Surely, there had to be more. So I turned to the source material – that beast of a monster that is, the book. I took a deep breath, held that bible-sized book in my hand, gulped, and said, to no one in particular, “Hi-Ho Silver Away!” And then I opened the book: