Just Ask James: Molested

What’s great about James Spillane is that if you have a question about how to drunkenly punch someone in the face, start a huge bar fight, have the cops come, then make it look like the person that you punched is at fault because you are mentally handicapped, he knows the answer.

Dear James

I was molested as a youth. To this day I admire your writing and I would like to ask you this same question, were you?


Dear God no, Reagan… and my condolences (you are named after the girl on the Exorcist). I wrote this the other day and perhaps you can get a little nugget out of it. I don’t want to spell it out but it deals with people such as me coming back from war, divorce, situations like yours, and the general confusion of finding yourself in new places.


Sometimes I imagine this gigantic bank vault door three feet thick and cold. And of course I want to open it up because there is fucking money in there. When I open it, sort of just crack it a bit, there are screams and smells and half rotting arms (in my dream they are always gray and Thriller-like) flaying and reaching out from the crack. The arms grab and search and tear as if the palms had their own eyeballs, mouths, and teeth. I push all my weight against the giant metal amalgam and see a spatula cutting sausages in half on my frying pan, I push and want to cut all the arms off, want to pinch them off like a turd. there is bad stuff in there. Close that fucking door, I say!

But a part of me wants to return with flame throwers and bleach bottles. Open, stand back, burn, melt, ash, scoop and take out the trash. But you can’t take out this sort of trash because it’s radioactive, it’s contagious — to open the door, enough for a flame thrower or a car bomb or a stick of dynamite, to open the door that wide could be enough to let it out. All those arms and teeth and zombies, it might be like 28 Days Later.

And just let’s say that you succeed, then what? You can’t just keep that shit around, you can’t bury it. Perhaps you could invent a rocket that would shoot it into space, but how could you be absolutely sure you’ve left no trace behind? Some kids you know have their own safes, and they open them up like Christmas presents. Some parents play games and have them search their safes for Easter eggs.

I waken, roll over, kiss Kim and tell her about this dream. She kisses me back. You’ve got to see the way sun shines here in Alaska upon me.

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