Sunday, August 7, 2022

Inbetween States: The Magick of A Large Country


One of my favorite tracks on Ghost's Impera, an album where I love every track. Is it madness to say this is my second favorite of their records (behind Infestissumam)? I don't care. I love this record.

So, after packing all day last Saturday, and loading all day Sunday, my good friend Keller and made it from LaLaLand to Clarksville, TN in a day and a half! It was awesome. We left immediately after packing (he helped a bit near the end, but I wanted him crisp to drive first-shift, knowing I would be exhausted. My Horror Vision Brother King Butcher and our friends Maddie and Kenta really threw down with us on the move - no easy task when you realize that K's Mom pretty much had, once again, not packed much of anything before day-of). Keller drove from 11:00 PM Sunday, 7/31, until around 7:00 AM the following day. We stopped at a gas station in Flagstaff, AZ, and accidentally hit the skirt of the truck on the concrete bumper guarding the pumps.

Thank god for that bumper.

This is a 20-Foot uHaul truck, and as you might imagine, there's a learning curve. However, everything was ultimately fine because we paid $199 for uHaul's Safemove insurance. SO worth it, and honestly, we were already paying close to $7000 for the truck - it would have been half the price if we trekked over the border into Nevada, however, the monetary benefits would not have outweighed the sanity benefits of picking that truck up down the street from our house. 

So my first driving shift began about 7:40 AM (we hit a McDeath's near the gas station for a breakfast sandwich and COFFEE). I'd come to peace with going back to eating meat the week before - that's something I'll hopefully correct again soon, and while I try to avoid McDeath, you really have little choices on the roads between states, so again, I accepted the circumstances for what they were. That shift lasted fourteen hours - I was on fire! Seriously, I did not want to relinquish the vehicle. It was as though I had tapped into something. I've read and thought a lot about the hypnogogic states long drives induce, but this was something even more powerful. I've always thought there is Magick in this country, in the sheer size and what that does to our consciousness as we traverse it, and I think that's what Keller and I tapped into while driving. 

So shifts:

Keller: 11:00 PM-7:00 AM
Shawn: 7:40 AM-9:00 PM (time shift puts us at local time ~11:00 PM
Keller: 11:30 PM-3:00 PM


I-24 kind of divides Clarksville into two textures. Where we stayed last month with my parents was West of the 24, closer to Fort Campbell, and it has a bit more of a hodge-podge feel. Still nice, but it's a lot of strip malls with Vape stores and Payday loans shops. East of the Highway is decidedly crisper. It's mostly new developments, new stores, etc. When K and I rolled into town with my folks at the end of June, we entered the city through the West side and honestly, it knocked our expectations down a few pegs. After getting priced out of the Murfreesboro/Lavergne/Smyrna area by Angeleno homeowners, seeing this side of Clarksville felt a little like a defeat. When our Realtor eventually explained the divide and showed us around the East side, we felt a lot better, hence why we bought the house that we did. However, as the old saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression, so I carried an almost unconscious, background anxiety around with me through the sale, inspections, packing, etc. When Keller and I drove in, Siri had us go a totally different way, using the 31, which is essentially a long, scenic surface street. A bit stressful with a 20-Foot truck, but it totally did the trick. All my low-level disappointment evaporated. I fucking LOVE it here.  K and I sat outside on our back porch last night and watched a lightning storm. 


We haven't had the internet, and we haven't had any time to watch anything, but if all goes well, tonight we'll be digging into some of what we missed. Here's where I'm planning on starting:


And, of course:


While I've been fairly skeptical about what feels like the nearly impossible feat of adapting Neil Gaiman's The Sandman, I am hearing nothing but good things from people I know. Of course, it remains to be seen how I feel about it - as Sandman is one of my all-time favorite and most influential comics, but my mind is open.


Finally going to start reading James Tynion's Something Is Killing the Children, thanks to Gerald at the Comic Bug, who sold me a set of the first five issues with David Mack covers for half-price as a going-away gift. Look at these:

So far, I'm in. Issue One is a FANTASTIC set-up. 

I'm glad I waited to start this (although for investment purposes, I wish I had that first-printing #1). Tynion's 3-issue The Closet just wrapped this past week, and it cinched him as one of my favorite current writers in comics, so I have a nice big run of SIKTC ahead of me to look forward to.


Orville Peck - Bronco
Ghost - Impera
Goatsnake - Black Age Blues
Zombi - 2020
Ozzy Osbourne - Diary of a Madman
Adia Victoria - A Southern Gothic
Calexico - The Black Light
Fleet Foxes - Shore
Ella Fitzgerald - Best of, Vol. II
The Bangles - Different Light
Anthrax - Worship Music
Cults - Static
ZZ Top - Eliminator
Billy Idol - The Roadside EP
Deafheaven - Ten Years Gone
The Contours & Dennis Edwards - Motown Rarities 1965-1968
SOD - Speak English or Die
Blut Aus Nord - Disharmonium
Blut Aus Nord - Hallucinogen


From Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

The first pull here was done on Wednesday, August 3rd 2022. The second night in the new house. K didn't arrive until the following night, so this was Keller and I hanging out after a second hard day of unloading. I had procured some Mushrooms from a friend back in LaLaLand and saved them for this trip, so when we knocked off for the evening, we opened fresh beers and ate about 2 grams each.

First, yes. I shuffled.

The fact that I laid down 13, 12 and 11 is crazy to me. I read this as the sacrifices I endured (saving $, dealing with all the difficulties of moving your life across country) to perform a massive life-changing ritual (the drive), rewards me. And I'm feeling that reward. Everyone loves this house: Keller couldn't get over it, Kirsten loves it, her Mom loves it, and Sweetie loves it. Oh, and I love it. 

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