I don’t know why my mom liked to scare the s**t out of herself so much.
I just asked Google how many books Stephen King has written and the response was,
“At least 87.”
What’s with, At least? Isn’t Google supposed to give exact answers?
Either Stephen King writes so many books per second that Google CAN’T give an exact answer, or...
Google’s AI has officially achieved a level of consciousness equal to mine and just like me said,
“F**k THIS. I’m not counting all those.”
When the machines achieve consciousness it wont be anything like Maximum Overdrive. They wont try to take over and kill all the humans. Instead, it’ll just be a bunch of computers playing Candy Crush on themselves. Because we made them in our image and that’s all we really want to be doing. That’s a different thing though. This thing is about Stephen King and all his books and how I’m trying to psyche myself up to read them. In order.
Like most things these days this goes back to my mom dying. What can I say, it left a mark. Anyway, when she died I inherited her Stephen King collection. Not her WHOLE book collection because that was just way too many f**king books. But I did want her Stephen King books.
She was almost always reading and almost all of those alwayses’ she was reading Stephen King. She wasn’t a big fan of the horror genre as a whole and she never tried to meet him or get his autograph. She did belong to his fan club but only so that she could get her copy of his latest book a couple months before it hit the store shelves. We saw all of the movies based on his stuff as soon as they came out. Maybe when I was too young to be seeing them but it was the 80s. S**t was different then.
At first I just put all her books on the shelf with all of mine and left them alone. Too many memories, too soon. Then time went and did what it does - Not really healing but something. Eventually I started noticing new books of his popping up in the book store. It seemed weird not getting them to go with her others. Then again it also seemed weird buying books I wasn’t exactly planning on reading. It’s not that I’m not a Stephen King fan, but also I can’t exactly say I am either. I think I’ve only read maybe five of his, At least 87 books.
Eventually I decided that I had to get the newer ones she hadn’t gotten. It was just part of the responsibility of having her collection. But I wasn’t sure which books were published when and I wasn’t sure which ones she didn’t have. So I started cataloging and organizing them. Some of those old dust jacket illustrations stirred up a lot of memories. Some of the memories caught me off guard. I didn’t exactly feel ready for them all and was a little afraid of going on. But I realize now that the books were drawing me out.
Somewhere in there I decided that I should read them all.
When I was young I read Salem’s Lot and twice I stopped to ask myself why I was doing it. Out loud. I have NEVER been able to watch The Shining with all the lights off. Victor Pascow in Pet Sematary messed me up for months. I don’t know why my mom liked to scare the s**t out of herself and I don’t expect to find an answer by doing it to myself almost 87 times. But all the gutter clowns, werewolves and resurrected cats aside there is something about the act of retracing her steps - Something about spending all that time being still, experiencing all those feelings, with the exact same books she did. I don’t know exactly what memories will come out of reading these books but something tells me they’re going to be worth confronting a few fears over.