Into the Wild & The Wild Truth

I found Into the Wild when I was going through the last breakup I would have before I would meet my future husband. The end of the that relationship was awful, but it also made me view a lot of what my dating life had been like up until that point. I loved toxic relationships, I loved the drama, I loved choosing emotionally unavailable men. It was a dark time in my life when it came to building healthy relationships.

I have no doubt that stems from earlier events in my life and perhaps one day, I’ll finally write about those. Sometimes, when I think back, I can almost pinpoint the moment that the toxicity seeped into me from my limited world around me. I just never really knew what a strong hold it took or how long it would take to get away from the causes and get it out of me.

I identified so strongly with:

“Some people feel like they don’t deserve love. They walk away quietly into empty spaces, trying to close the gaps of the past.”
― Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

It really spoke to me and at times, when I am reflecting back on those parts of my life, I still feel like that was lesson I took away from that time and unconsciously carried with me for many years. I completely understood why a young man from a “good” family would pack a bag and disappear into the wilderness. It had nothing to do with young adulthood rebellion, but in so many ways a need for a rebirth from what he was born into. It just made sense to me and for awhile, I seriously considered putting all of my efforts into becoming an Alaskan Bush teacher.

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The Wild Truth, by Carine McCandless

In 2014, Chris’s sister, Carine published The Wild Truth which delves deeply into her family’s dysfunction, the lies and toxicity and really shows exactly why  Chris died in an abandoned bus in the Bush.

I immediately had bought it and read a chunk before I had to stop to focus on my master’s thesis. I finally got to finish it today and quite simply put: wow. I can’t remember the last time that I had tears streaming down my face as I finished a book. If you thought you identified with Chris, you need to read Carine’s side of things. I felt so many things and I just understood so much of what she went through and how as an adult, it largely became her, navigating her own life and making her own rules.

I highly recommend this memoir. In fact, I think I’m going to go home to day and re-watch the film adaptation of Into the Wild for the umpteenth time.

Stephen King’s IT

As a child of the 80’s and 90’s, I was pretty much like a lot of children of my generation– I grew up watching creepy dark comedies and shows like Are You Afraid of the Dark? Which at the time, were super scary to me and to this day, I can not forget the Melissa Joan Hart episode with the ghost-boy that would randomly pop up and whisper “I’m cold” until he was reunited with his lost red hoodie. TV  and movies used to be a lot more than what they are today, for sure.

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Stephen King’s IT was another thing all together. I was either 11 or 12 when I was forced to watch it with my little brother who, though only 7 or 8 at the time, lived for shit like that. As for me, I was completely terrified by both Tim Curry and clowns and showers and drains and storm drains and….for YEARS following having watched it. I’m 30 years old now and to this day, I get the urge to fast-walk passed storm drains. It doesn’t help that there is one right by where I park when I get home…at night? I fly into my house. What? I’m a writer, I am forever cursed with a very real over-active imagination that believes in the possibility of all things. Including that Tim Curry in full-blown It makeup will be in the storm drain, offering me a red balloon so he can rip off my arm.

Imagine my shock when I was older and sat down and actually read the 1,000 page novel with just how much more detail was in the actual story. And as with anyone who has read the novel, the gang bang scene with them as kids was probably one of the more uncomfortable parts of a Stephen King book that I had to get through. Then, as a writer by that point in my life, it also got me to think. This was an extremely long book to begin with and to allow the gang bang scene involving adolescent kids into publication? Like, was this the book where they finally said to him, you’re off the leash just go with it because we know it will sell? It has to be.

 

It took me over two weeks to re-read it. The novel is a really great example for character development and using detail in writing. I had to keep taking breaks from it because at times it was almost too much. I also was very confused about what happened to Tom Rogan, Bev’s abusive husband who follows her to Derry after beating her up and her friend, only to kidnap Bill’s wife Audra to take her to It, only to seemingly disappear before the final battle. I had to pull up book spoilers to find out his fate. Has that happened to anyone else? I seriously felt like I blinked and missed an entire section, but when I went back, it wasn’t there. Oversight or is it just that quick?

I can’t wait until September when the new movie comes out even though, I feel like the new film has a lot to top from the Tim Curry 1990 version. It’s also hard to see Pennywise being portrayed as so obviously evil when in the novel, Pennywise was an illusion, a mask for it’s true form because it was how It was able to get the children it needed to feed. I think we all need to go into the new version thinking of it as an entirely different take all together.

What I can’t forgive though? The fact that this will be two parts and we’ll have to wait even longer to see the Losers reunite as adults.

What’s the freakiest part though? It comes back every 27 years to wreak havoc on Derry. 1990? Oh yeah, that was…wait for it…27 years ago.