A visit to Illinois—home to snow, slaughterhouse romance, and a fraught geology masquerading as pizza—courtesy of Matthew Gavin Frank’s brilliant new book.
Roman gets my phone number off an application for employment at the West Portal Bookshop in San Francisco. I imagine him taking my application off the stack and going to stand outside in the grey with his ankle showing tight black pants, jacket and long black hair.
“Hi. No. I’m not calling about the job.” Roman is, tall, olive skinned, he rocks back and forth when he stands with his hands in his pockets. “Would you like to go for coffee?” he asks.
I tell him, I’ll meet him at eight.
The Blue Danube Café is in the Inner Richmond District, between the Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate Park. Inside there are little twinkle lights and small walkways; we join the lines of people waiting to order and pick up.
Roman is attractive and repulsive; I see vulnerability in his weighted shoulders: he smells familiar. Like cigarettes.
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Do you hear that?
That’s the sound of my heart breaking.
My son has always loved the ocean. His eyes are the color of the sea, changing from blue to green with the swell of the tide. And my love for him is an ocean, an overwhelming force which is sometimes calm and steady, and other times full of conflict.
A mother’s love is like the continuous miracle of the sea. It begins in the ocean of your womb – but there is something unsettling about the way your baby kicks. So fiercely you feel bruised on the inside.
There is something willful and stubborn about his refusal to come out. He arrives weeks late, and even then – after almost 40 hours of labor.
Your baby is overwhelming and mysterious and brutal, like the ocean. He screams uncontrollably for hours a day, every day. And you bring him to…
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Norman Bates from the Hitchcock’s classic. Credit: Paramount Pictures
Horror movies have long been a source of thrills and entertainment for us all, especially around this time of year. While sometimes they can be misconstrued as films that rely on cheap scares and over-the-top monsters in lieu of plot-driven stories, the genre is full of great movies that could satisfy even the staunchest movie buff. From the early days of Lon Chaney and Boris Karloff to the “scream queens” and documentary-style scarefests of the last few years, the horror genre has been nothing if not persistently popular.
It would be hard to rank any one film as having the most impact on the film making side, especially considering the genre has so many sub-genres within itself. However, there are a select few that have helped to definitively shape the horror culture as a whole.
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