Friday, November 22, 2013

Magic Box

I put aside both this book about the English Civil War and this Norman Mailer bio to read the Adrienne Barbeau autobiography for the Doomed Book Club. I did not expect much overlap! But it turns out that Barbeau and Mailer are both devotees of the theories of William Reich, which, as Barbeau puts it, deal "with an individual's life energy, how it may flow freely or be physically blocked." Mailer "would later build his own version of Reich's infamous 'orgone box,' a telephone-booth-sized chamber where one repaired to replenish or accumulate orgonic, or life energy." You may recall the orgone box as the contraption Old Bull Lee shows off in ON THE ROAD. Why am I telling you this? I don't know! A guy has to do something to fill the numbing, relentless, empty hours, and I don't have an orgone box. This "blog" is my orgone box! For example, after I titled this "post," I recalled that Sally Timms used to portray "Cowboy Sally" on this kids'show that Barry B. and I used to make, and Cowboy Sally had a "magic box" (which sits on our mantel to this very day in Oxford, Mississippi), and wouldn't Cowboy Sally and Her Magic Box make a great illustration for this "post"? But I looked around and couldn't find a photo meeting the requirements, so I emailed Barry B. Unfortunately, he got back to me almost immediately, so that very few empty, numbing, relentless minutes were filled with the intended anticipation. But I'll take what I can get! Also, Megan Abbott has spoiled an upcoming scene for me. Apparently, Barbeau's husband John Carpenter is going to be attacked by a bat while watching the Jerry Lewis telethon.