The Demonologist

about to knock again when the inside door is pulled open to reveal a sinewy woman dressed in what appears to be layers of old sweaters and an ankle-length denim skirt. Her long hair held back in an elastic that leaves the ends bunched and brittle as the head of a broom. Brown eyes wide and alive,

All my life I have been pursued by the black dogs of unaccountable gloom

And what do we have? A profound if sexless intimacy of a kind I’ve never known with either man or woman since childhood, and perhaps not even then.

Cancer is a kind of possession, too. And like a demon, before it claims you, it nibbles away at who you are, erases the face you have always presented to the world to show the unwanted thing inside.

Darkness isn't the matter from which the Antichrist was formed, but intelligence. Foreknowledge.

David. She is you. So you have to prove your love for her every goddamn minute of every goddamn day. Anything less and you fail the Human Being Test.

Don’t be crude, Professor. Profanity is one contest you will not win with me.

Don't stop to understand. You may never understand. Just keep going.

Every poet — every storyteller — requires motivation.

Fuck you. You think this is a scene in some indie drama you take my wife to in the Village, some pack of lies the guy at the Times said was so naturalistically performed. But in real life? We’re bad actors. We’re slobs who actually hurt. You don’t feel it, you couldn’t, but the pain you’re causing us—causing my family—it’s destroying our lives, what we have together. What we had.

Grief has a colour. It has other characteristics, I know now, collectively forming a personality of sorts. An antagonizing figure that arrives in your life and refuses to leave or sit anywhere but next to you or stop whispering the name of the departed in your ear.

I am well and truly messed up.

If it ain’t broke, don’t let some stupid fucker fuck it up sort of thing.

I realize I’ve been calling out to Dad just like he’s been calling out to me. Telling him the same thing the whole time. Not words from my mouth through the air, but from my heart through the earth, so only the two of us could hear it. FIND ME

I realize I’ve been calling out to Dad just like he’s been calling out to me. Telling him the same thing the whole time. Not words from my mouth through the air, but from my heart through the earth, so only the two of us could hear it. FIND ME.

I’ve never been able to figure out what you’re so scared of, but there’s something in you that’s got you backed into a corner so tight your eyes are closed against it,” she says. “You don’t have to tell me what it is. I bet you don’t even know yourself. But here’s the thing: I probably won’t be around for you when you face it down. I wish I could be, but I won’t. You’re going to need someone. You won’t make it if you’re alone. I don’t know of anyone who could.

I've seen the photos," he said.
"Photos are never the same as the real thing," I said.

Last night I had the dream again. Except it's not a dream I know because when it comes for me, I'm still awake.
There's my desk. The map on the wall. The Stuffed animals I don't play with anymore but don't want to hurt Dad's feelings by sticking in the closet I might be in bed. I might be just standing there, looking foe a missing sock. Then i'm gone.
it doesn't just show me somthing this time, it takes me from here to THERE> standing on the bank of a river of fire. A thousand wasps in my head. Fighting and dying inside my skull, their bodies piling up against the backs of me eyes. Stinging and stinging.
Dad's voice. Somewhere across the river. Calling my name. I've never heard him sound like that before. He's so frightened he can't hide it, even though he tries (he ALWAYS tries).
The dead boy floats by.
Facedown. So I wait for his head to pop up, show the holes where his eye used to be, say somthing with his blue lips. One of the terrible things it might make him do. But he just passes like a chunk of wood. I've never been here before, but I know it's real. The river is the line between this place and the Other Place. And I'm on the wrong side. There's a dark forest behind me but that's not what it is. I try to get to where Dad is. My toes touch the river and it sings with pain. Then there's arms pulling me back. Dragging me into the trees. They feel like a man's arms but it's not a man that sticks its fingers into my mouth. Nails that scratch the back of my throat. Skin that tastes like dirt. But just before that, before I'm back in my room with my missing sock in my hand, I realize I've been calling out to Dad just like he's been calling out to me. Telling him the same thing the whole time. Not words from my mouth through the air, but from my heart through the earth, so only the two of us could hear it.
FIND ME

Missing someone feels like hunger. An insatiable emptiness right at the core of yourself.

Sometimes, monsters are real,” Tess said, rolling over, leaving me alone with the ladybug staring up at me. “Even if they don’t look like monsters.

Sometimes people close a door because they're trying to figure out a way to get you to knock.

Sometimes people close a door because they’re trying to figure out a way to get you to knock.

Tell me this. What is it with men and feeling like they have to act like self-destructive superheroes whenever trouble shows up?”
“It’s the only way we know how to love.

The dead boy floats by.

There are things in this world most of us never see,” I find myself saying. “We’ve trained ourselves not to see them, or try to pretend we didn’t if we do. But there’s a reason why, no matter how sophisticated or primitive, every religion has demons.

They’re coming! All of us waiting for the little green men to probe us or decimate us or turn us into shrubbery.

Things that go bump in the brain.

We need to talk." she says.
"The four most dreaded words in the history of marriage.

Your melancholy. Or depression. Along with nine-tenths of the afflictions I’ve studied, diagnosed, attempted to treat. Call them whatever you like, but they’re just different names for loneliness. That’s what lets the darkness in. That’s what you have to fight.