by Molly Jo Realy @RealMojo68
August is almost over. Soon my cup will runneth over . . . with Pumpkin Spice Lattes, walks over crunchy leaves in the park, and that little tingle down my spine.
Some say it’s too early for autumn. I disagree. When that famous Starbuck’s drink rolls out next week, I’m all about the sweaters and squash.
This is the time of year my senses are heightened, waiting for that eerie carnival music to creep in at dusk, those artificially bright lights that color the dark night. Yes, y’all have heard it from me before. I’m a fan of Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes. And because I’m a fan of that book and movie, I’m not a fan of traveling carnivals. In August, October, or any other time of the year.
Did you know the phrase is a quote from Shakespeare’s Macbeth?
“By the pricking of my thumbs
something wicked this way comes.”
Because it’s Shakespeare, the iambic pentameter gives it a rhythm nearly unforgettable. And so it cycles around in my head. Around, and around, with the swirling leaves, and the steaming lattes.
There are a handful of movies I love to watch this time of year, but this one is my autumn movie.
Bradbury tells the story of being twelve years old and meeting the great magician, Mr. Electrico, at a traveling carnival. Mr. Electrico essentially knighted him with his electrified sword and instructed him, “Live forever!” Shortly after, Bradbury began writing every day. At the time of his death, he had written more than 30 books, nearly 600 short stories, and numerous poems, essays, screenplays and plays.
I am reminded how, shortly after high school, my girlfriends and I went to our local carnival. We relished the neon draw, the straw finding its way around our shoes. We walked from attraction to attraction, from game to game, playing what we could and taking the winnings.
I remember a barker-a stranger-at one of the games, striking up conversation.
He asked what part of the South I was from. My friends and I giggled. “South?” I said. “I’m from the Midwest.”
“No.” He shook his head. “Your accent. You’re definitely from Georgia. Or Louisiana.”
I don’t remember the rest of the conversation. I remember him trying to look nonchalant yet having a knowing look in his eye. I remember clutching whatever cheap stuffed animal I had won, or had been rigged to win, as my friends and I walked away. We laughed at the absurdity of his comment.
But I’ve never forgotten it.
And now, so many years later, I’m writing a novel set in New Orleans. My house has Southern flair, and my cooking has Southern flavors. My best friends are in the South.
And I still speak with a Southern accent I can’t account for.
Bradbury tells how Mr. Electrico greeted him. “You were my best friend in the great war in France in 1918 and you were wounded and died in my arms at the battle of the Ardennes Forrest. But now, here today, I see his soul shining out of your eyes. Here you are, with a new face, a new name, but the soul shining from your face is the soul of my dear dead friend. Welcome back to the world.”
This time of year, it’s nearly a trance. How Bradbury’s story, his movie, captures me. Reminds me. Motivates me.
My thumbs itch as I type, my fingers stand at the ready to do more. More typing. More adventuring. More everything. And I can almost smell the patchouli on the dark breeze.
What movie captures your attentions this time of year?
With a beating heart and waiting coffee cup,
And Frankly, My Dear . . . That’s all she wrote!