Fiction: “Red Dragon” by Thomas Harris

red dragonOkay, I’m going out of order on this blog – technically, I have two other books to review before I should be getting into this particular book again, but IMPORTANT THINGS HAVE HAPPENED THAT I NEED TO TALK TO SOME WINE AND THE INTERNET ABOUT

Here, you want my review of Red Dragon? Here it is:

OF COURSE I READ IT AGAIN

HANNIBAL THIS SEASON IS GOING TO TACKLE THE RED DRAGON STORYLINE

IF YOU THOUGHT I WASN’T GOING TO REREAD THIS (and underline in pencil all the lines and scenes lifted directly from this book into the series, FOR POSTERITY AND ALSO AWESOMENESS), then CLEARLY YOU DO NOT KNOW ME

THERE

REVIEW COMPLETE

NOW TO THE TALKING PLUS OH SO MUCH WINE

STRAIGHT FROM THE BOTTLE BECAUSE THAT’S HOW I’M ROLLING TONIGHT

I DON’T GOT TIME FOR GLASSES

AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT

Before we begin tonight’s tale of woe, I find I must relate another, longer tale of — well not woe, exactly, but weirdness.

(Also, in case you can’t tell, I’ve been drinking. So BUCKLE UP)

So, YEARS AGO, when I worked at L.L. Bean, I started hearing the Pearl Jam hit “betterman” like, all the time. There were days when I’d hear it on each leg of my commute. And if “betterman” wasn’t playing, it was another Pearl Jam song. Or “Hunger Strike,” by Temple of the Dog. Or those songs Eddie Vedder did from the Into the Wild soundtrack. I mean, it was ALL THE FUCKING TIME. There was this one time, where I had put it on a mix CD for a wedding I was going to because I thought I was hilarious, and I didn’t realize I had loaded it onto my iPod, and I was working on a spreadsheet or something at work with my earbuds in and the FUCKING FIRE ALARM GOES OFF, for like, the first time in FIFTY YEARS, and so I run out and help everyone evacuate and it’s not until I get back into the store when I realize that — YOU GUESSED IT — “betterman” was the song playing on the iPod when the alarms started shrieking.

When my dear friend Not-Uncle Jean was transferred to Customer Service from Men’s, I was hearing “betterman” on the radio while I was donating blood at the same time as the decision was being made. I heard “Evenflow” the morning of the Worst Physical Inventory In All Of Human History (18 hours! 18 hours of inventory! I was there for all of them! It was hell) “betterman” was the song playing on my radio when my alarm went off on my 25th birthday, setting the stage for a really shitty year, to be honest.

I started calling it The Curse of Eddie Vedder. My Dear Friend Amelia, who is a die-hard Pearl Jam fan, bee tee dubs, started looking at me like I was crazy – which, admittedly, I am, BUT NOT ABOUT THIS. I mean, we even tried to go see Pearl Jam: 20 at the Nick when it came out a few years ago but it was oversold. You know what song I had heard on the radio that day? YOU GUESSED IT. Apparently, Eddie didn’t even want me to TRY and break the curse by sitting captive in a movie starring him for two hours.

Eventually, as all curses do (even the Cubbies – GUYS, IT’S 2015, THEY’RE GONNA WIN THIS YEAR, IT HAS BEEN WRITTEN), the power of Eddie Vedder fades and now it’s just a delightful anecdote that makes me laugh on occasion.

So now let’s change gears and watch Alaina coming out of the Hannaford this evening, a book of stamps in hand, ready for mailing some late graduation cards, and other sundries. She gets into her car and pulls her phone out of her purse and realizes that she has a voicemail, a Facebook notification, and a Twitter notification.

Alaina’s Dear Friend Sarah has thoughtfully tagged her on both Facebook and Twitter in an unthinkable piece of news:

HANNIBAL. HAS BEEN. CANCELLED.

alana 1No.

No, that’s not true.

alana 2

That — that can’t be true.

will crying 2 don't lieno.  no no no. noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

DON’T MAKE ME CRY IN THE HANNAFORD PARKING LOT GUYS

alaina 3.5

oh god.

oh god no.

I felt like I’d been gutted.

will crying HANNIBALAnd then, in between the tears and the anguished yelling, I remembered that I had a voicemail.

Maybe it was my mother who thoughtfully left me a message. Mom knows how I feel about this show, and even though she doesn’t understand my undying love for it, I’m sure she loves me enough to want to call me and comfort me in my time of need. AND I WAS VERY NEEDY, RIGHT THERE, IN THE HANNAFORD PARKING LOT

Maybe it was Dear Friend Sarah, who shares the same Fannibal love that I do.

Maybe it was … I don’t know, Bryan Fuller himself, telling me to hold on hope that maybe, just maybe, some other network or streaming site would pick up where NBC left off, and my wonderful, bloody, gory, amazing show could continue – much like Arrested Development was rescued from its nadir of cancellation by the wonder that is Netflix.

It could also, realistically, be a voicemail from my union, reminding me to support our legislature in all of the budget shit that’s going down. Honestly, my money was on the union.

So, the weird thing about this voicemail, is that there was no record of who had called.

You know how normally, the phone says, “Oh, you have a missed call, it was MOM & DAD”? NOT THIS TIME. There was NOTHING. Just the Voicemail icon. No record of anyone leaving me call. I even checked “Recent Calls” in my call log, and there was NO RECORD OF ANYONE CALLING ME. And yet I HAD A VOICEMAIL.

heh .. this is the part were I was going to screenshot my Missed Call page on my phone? But then I realized that a lot of people’s personal numbers would be published on the internet, and I realized OH SHIT THAT’S SUCH A BAD IDEA so I didn’t. Yay restraint!

So anyway, nothing. And my voicemail doesn’t even say, “Message from: two-zero-seven- etc.” So … I had no idea who called.

I push play.

And guys, I really wish I could somehow embed the audio of that voicemail into this post, but that type of transfer from my phone to my laptop is beyond my ken even when I’m sober, and I’m almost done with an entire bottle of wine at this point. (DON’T WORRY MOM I’VE BEEN DRINKING SINCE 7 SO I SHOULD BE FINE EXCEPT I DIDN’T HAVE DINNER BUT STILL ONE BOTTLE OVER 2.5 HOURS IS WAY BETTER THAN AN EPISODE OF HANNIBAL)

I mean guys, I seriously just spent ten minutes searching my office for my plug-in microphone so I could record it for all posterity, but you’ll just have to borrow my imagination. (sob!)

So, picture it –

You hear a little bit of static.

It almost sounds like someone butt-dialed you. Like, there’s a conversation going, but you’re only hearing one side of the story. Someone might be laughing a bit; you’re not sure.

You’re almost leaning into your phone, trying to decipher the voice – because yes, even through the static, it sounds slightly familiar, and you can’t wait to call whoever this is and tell them that somehow, their butt-dial bypassed your caller ID, and you have to admit it: you’re slightly proud.

But then, the message starts to have a rather … musical quality. You still don’t know exactly what’s being said, but maybe it’s not a conversation…

and then

you begin to decipher some of the words

and a chill runs up your spine

will crying 1because

now you can clearly hear someone singing

and you know the words

and it’s

eddie fucking vedder

singing

she lies and says she’s in love with him
can’t find a better man

will crying DEAD

WHAT THE FUCK

WHO WOULD LEAVE ME A VOICEMAIL THAT CONSISTS SOLELY OF THE CHORUS TO “BETTERMAN”

WHO WOULD DO THAT

ON TODAY OF ALL DAYS

WHO WOULD BE SO –

goddammit.

you fucking jackass.

jesus christ.

alana dead

ANYWAY.

THAT, my friends, is the story of How Alaina Learned That Hannibal Was Cancelled.

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