Friday, April 10, 2009
Posted by Nate Yapp at 10:46 PM
I've taken to walking the last mile to home from the light rail. It's a good time to collect my thoughts (or, more frequently, make another go for the high score on Bejeweled). There's one lonely stretch of the walk that's always a bit disconcerting -- walking along the half-mile of yellow concrete that marks the boundary of the country club. Not only is the walk visually monotonous, but it's also poorly lit and there's occasional cul-de-sacs from which any nightmare might leap.
Tonight as I walked along, a quarter mile in and a quarter mile to go, I heard a laugh some distance behind me. I noticed it particularly because of its unusual range -- it began high and ended low. I also noted it because it wasn't a laugh of mirth, but of mischief. I turned and looked behind me. There was no-one there. I thought. I didn't see anyone and yet it felt like there must have been. I turned again and although the scenery did not change one iota, there was clearly another person trailing me by about half a block. I had seen them the first time, but somehow I failed to register them as a person.
Somehow, this caused me to think of John Carpenter's Halloween, a film unsurpassed in its ability to create tension from the absence of its villain in a shot. I recalled being fourteen years old, having just seen the movie for the first time, and imagining Michael Myers was there every time I didn't catch him out of the corner of my eye. It's a powerful movie, one of my favorites, and it's good to know that it still has a hold on my overactive imagination on a brisk April night.