Mild Indigestion

When I turn off the lights and I close my eyes, I get fervent and feral dreams filled with scenes from different times, places, genres. I burp images from movies I’ve greedily consumed in a span of 6 days — “A Fish Called Wanda,” “The Velvet Goldmine,” “American History X,” “Nightmare Before Christmas,” “The Goonies,” “Spirited Away,” “The Lost Boys,” and “The Children of Men” — they’re mixed and mismatched and I struggle to wade through one after the other, fearful that I’d get swallowed slowly in the quagmire of pain, loss, and despair. I’ve been tossed in a wine cellar with Dr. William Gull, Rorschach, and the Cthulhu (the Cthulhu!! Who slurps more than his fair share of the alcohol), characters from the comics and audio books I’ve munched on way after midnight. I regurgitate words and snatches of conversations whispered in shadows; they are from the mouthfuls I’ve crammed in the past week or so — from short stories by Gaiman, Bradbury, and King, and novels by James, Salinger, Stoker, and Burgess.

Yes, I’ve been bingeing. I’ve been chomping on my favorite fares late at night and I’ve been digesting them whilst I sleep. My power pellets are meant to keep me sane, to keep me from tipping over, but I think I may have given in to gluttony. I dined and wined with the demons of my choosing. Now it’s their turn to consume me.

My whole being is grumbling. I need an antacid, quick.

(A side dish to the main course: I am glad I read PD James’s book first before I saw Cuáron’s visceral masterpiece. I swore no allegiance neither to the author nor the book, so I feel no remorse when I say that the film was an improvement on the novel. James’s premise was good—a disguised sci-fi-what-if tale about the human race not so far into the future; maligned with inexplicable universal sterility, individuals and the society are left to grapple with their species’ impeding mortality in a grim, violent, and hopeless world—but it was Cuáron who showed the shadows, the ugliness, and the despair of the children of Men.)

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