Monday, November 03, 2014
Día de los Muertos
I have few experiences of the spooky, the uncanny, the unheimlich, these days. Halloween has become opaque to me. Decayed or injured bodies repulse me, and the enjoyment of them distresses me, for perfectly daylight and pedestrian reasons, but they don't spook me. The supposed grotesqueries of age, crossdressing, and deformity either move me to pity or don't move me at all. I'm just not on the page. I have other things to do.
But last night, as I worked late in my darkened office, I heard the door creak open, and a figure in a long white dress swept past, in full Día de los Muertos make-up. I knew very well that it was Minka, who always inspires delight and tenderness in me: but it was also a dead woman, laid out lovingly for burial, decorated not for horror but for honor.
Later, as I passed her dark office on the way to the printer, her skull face turned to me with its familiar warm, engaging smile. That, if you please, was spooky.