Halloween Die-ary: October 23, 2018

I’m writing this entry still in the hospital. We have to stay “two midnights” before we can go home due to certain routine tests the doctors want to perform on Lindsey and the baby. So Lindsey has been stuck in a small room since last night, while I have been able to come and go. But now we’re both stuck in said small room passing a tiny crying thing back and forth.

Fortunately, this hospital is a familiar place for us. It’s across the street from our previous house. We’ve had three babies here. I went through chemo here. We’ve been here for all kinds of other reasons. I’ll always remember the tall smokestack that’s visible everywhere from this part of town and the star on the hospital exterior above the maternity ward that’s always visible but only lit in December. I can almost see our old house from the window of our room.

Sometime before midnight, I wandered through the empty halls of the hospital, through the emergency room, and outside into the recently storm-washed streets of the old neighborhood. I walked to the cemetery that I could see from my study back in the old house. Then to an all-night convenience store for Caramellos and Chex Mix. It was full of rough men buying smokes and listening to Game 1 of the World Series on the radio, discussing how much the Red Sox bullpen sucks, even thought they were ahead by a run.

Back in the room, I watched a horror movie, choosing one set in a hospital in honor of our surroundings. At first I thought about watching Halloween 2, but I’m sort of Michael Myers’d out right now. I went for Exorcist III, instead, both because of That One Scene that’s legit one of the scariest committed to film and because I’m surrounded by Catholic iconography in this hospital.

The movie came out in 1990, and I probably saw it about ten years after it came out. I remember liking the movie a lot, but I’d forgotten (or maybe just didn’t know) how great the movie is. The plot sounds like every movie from the past three decades: A dead serial killer jumps bodies while a hardnosed cop tries to come to terms with the supernatural and stop him. However, it’s an intense, unsettling horror film that takes on evil from a different angle than the original movie. Plus, it features imagery and ideas that have been copied by a lot of horror movies over the past few decades.

Just like The Exorcist (and unlike the awfulness of Exorcist II), it was based on a book by William Peter Blatty, although this time, instead of William Friedkin directing, it was also directed by Blatty himself. It features amazing monologues by Brad Dourif as the Gemini Killer, a perfectly nuanced portrayal by George C. Scott as the detective…and cameos by Patrick Ewing, Bill O’Reilly, and Fabio.

So I watched crucifixes jump off walls while one dangled above my head, watched Satan/the Gemini Killer/dementia patients roam hospital hallways just as I had done minutes before, and all while cradling our newest child in my arms.

Speaking of which, Lindsey and I really appreciate all the well-wishes and congratulations for my family and our newest addition from you all on the socials and over email. I don’t know when I shifted into a daddy blogger instead of a chronicler of oddity, but thanks for indulging me for the moment.

More Halloween to come!