Struggling to make sense of the world today, I decided to indulge in a bit of light escapism by finally picking up my old copy of The Stand by Stephen King. Nothing like 1,137 pages of 7 point font detailing the horrors of a highly contagious flu to help relax before bed. Not so much, right? But at the risk of sounding dramatic, at this point in time it feels faintly inappropriate to be reading anything else. So, overall this read is going about as well as when I cracked open The Handmaid’s Tale a year and a half after Trump got elected.
The Stand was originally written in 1978; the complete & uncut version hit in 1989. My copy is from 1991. We exist today in 2020. Six pages in I have already spotted one of (what is sure to be) many, many examples of how some things never change:
‘That ain’t necessarily how it would be,’ Hap said weightily, from the depths of his ninth grade education. He went on to explain why.
Altogether it has been deeply jarring but cathartic in a weirdly emotional way, hitting some dark space inside me and giving me back some sense of peace. It works – better than obsessively reading news articles and watching my fellow citizens demean themselves on Facebook, at least. In These Troubled Times, I will take it.