Saturday, October 27, 2012



Trying to slog through a book that I don't really like, but I'm doing it for what, I think, are noble reasons.  The Cipher by Kathe Koja came out in 91 as the first in a new series of books from Dell that they called their Abyss line.  They bragged that it was a new kind of horror, more psychological (whatever that means) and less about haunted houses and Indian burial grounds.

It just so happened in a period of my youth when I was receptive to such a thing and I remember reading several books in the line, not really being impressed by any of them, and especially struggling with The Cipher.  I remember it being weird, in subject matter and style, and twenty years still is.

It's written in a kind of minimalist stream of consciousness style which only works some of the time.  I've been reading it generously, giving it every benefit of the doubt, doing my due diligence as a reader to figure this thing out, and much of it is still opaque and vague.

I didn't finish it twenty years ago and I'm going to now for one reason and one reason only.  I need to know if that's the point, to be vague.  If it is, I get it.  Score.

If not....


I've talked up a band called Baroness a few times, I'm pretty sure.  I just downloaded their double album a few months ago.

And it wasn't long after that they were involved in a scary bus crash in England that almost cost them their lives.  When I read John Baizley's account, it sure left an impression.

They were coming down a very steep winding road in their tour bus when the brakes gave out.
Most people who have been in accidents understand the pre-trauma sensation of time slowing down. There were almost two minutes during which I knew we were heading for a collision. It felt like two hours.
They ended up hitting a guard rail and flying off a 30-foot ledge.

It gets worse:
When the bus hit the ground, I flew like a missile into the windshield.... I hit the glass so hard, that the entire windshield flew from the frame to the ground, and I bounced back inside the bus. .....I surveyed the damage to see instantly that my left leg was very obviously and badly broken. Then I lifted my arms forward to see if either had been damaged. My right arm was covered in burns, blood and broken glass, but working well enough. My left arm was crushed beyond belief, broken in the middle of the bone in my upper arm (humerus), and hanging 90 degrees backwards, with many spurs of bone poking through muscles and sinew at the surface of my skin. The bone was shattered into seven free-floating pieces, and my wrist and hand were swinging behind my back, spasming freely. Instinctively, I reached behind my back, grabbed my wrist and re-broke my arm forwards, hugging it to my chest, where it remained for the next three hours until it was cast in plaster. 
They all survived, which is a good thing, and I wish them a full recovery even if it's not speedy.


SeanH said...

Got Green and Yellow two days ago. Read that yesterday. Totally horrifying. I am not sure what would be worse, the crash and aftermath or the two minutes KNOWING you are going to have a horrible crash. The co worker who introduced me to that band informed me that a friend of his is their tour manager and was on the bus. Luckily he was uninjured. Crazy crazy stuff. Really good album BTW.

James said...

Oh man, I'd have to go with BOTH! That two minutes, though...that's going to leave an impression. You have to wonder if they'll ever tour by bus again.

I agree on Green and Yellow, 100%. You know what I love about it? The instrumentals. Green Theme and Stretchmarker are just amazing pieces of music.