Pilate That

I read Carrie in less than two days

From the time I cracked open Carrie by Stephen King on Tuesday morning until going to bed far beyond my bed time on Wednesday night, less than 48 hours had lapsed. If I wasn’t an adult and didn’t have responsibilities like going to work or showering, I might’ve finished the entire book in one sitting.

Carrie is that good. 

Everyone who follows me on Litsy (or just knows me at all)  knows about my deep, deep love of Stephen King. I picked up my first King novel in late middle school/ early high school and haven’t put down his books since. Shockingly, I actually haven’t read all of his books. This probably stems from some thing on a subconscious level; I don’t want to destroy a good thing as quickly as possible, which is my normal M.O.

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So, here we are, 28.5 years old and reading Carrie in less than 48 hours. And I tell you what, it was an absolute treat. I will warn you now- from this point on there are SPOILERS ABOUND. But if you seriously don’t know Carrie White’s story I am going to assume you:

A. live under a rock and don’t know anything about the gloriousness that is Sissy Spacek in 1976
or B. Have a mother like Margaret White trying to shield you from the “horrors” of this world.

If it’s B I am real sorry. I am also curious as to how you have access to the internet. These are questions for another time. Moving on.

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I apologize for the personal details I am about to spill, but I cannot be the only woman that read the beginning of Carrie and was instantly transported back to the first time I had a menstrual cycle. Equal parts terror and realization: “WHY AM I BLEEDING FROM….” followed very closely by “I AM FINALLY A MOTHERFU**ING WOMAN, Y’ALL!”.

How Stephen was able to capture the terror and excitement of a woman’s biological right of passage is lost to me. That man is truly a wizard.

Another fun note I made at the beginning of this book (during a flashback? flash forward to Carrie White research? I don’t know): Stephen, Carrie, and my best friend all share the same birthday. It’s September 21st for those of you who are now ready to go search for Stephen King’s birthday.

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Me at Prom- Circa 2006. Note lack of destruction and pig’s blood.

King has a strange way of reeling me in by writing characters I swear were plucked from my childhood. Margaret White is of no exception and reminds me of humans I’ve interacted with from my rural home area. Religious fanatics are everywhere.

While she is an absolute terror of a woman and god-awful mother (pun intended), her over-zealous religious leanings don’t surprise me in the least. This sort of religious fanaticism permeates many inexplicable human situations all over the planet and throughout human history. In this case, Carrie’s terrifying telekinetic power trigger momma’s fanatic religious beliefs and vice versa.

Think about it: we are only human. We appreciate order and the ability to make sense of the unknown. The unknown is scary. The unknown here is your kid demolishing your house with boulders she’s summoned from the sky. That’s really, really scary and makes absolutely no sense. Even if I hate to stick up for her, Margaret White’s fanaticism is her lizard-brain adaptation and survival mechanism due to her present circumstance. She’s also just a terrible human being.

As I mentioned earlier, the Carrie story is pretty widely known thanks to a wonderful performance by Sissy Spacek in the 1976 blockbuster. I, being the horror movie fanatic that I am, have watched the film many times. Yet there was something voyeuristic and exciting about reading the book and knowing (generally) what was about to go down at the prom that year in Maine. Watching Carrie unfold on pages rather than the screen was such a fun experience. I was reading it so fast that I read the line on page 150 “Pilate that” instead of “Pilate said that”. I laughed so hard and I knew I had to make that the title of this Carrie-themed post.

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Prom 2007: I’m in white. Please note lack of blood and destruction. Nothing like Carrie’s Senior Prom except for the white dinner coats.

Carrie’s story is timeless. This is a story as much about high school torment as it is about a mother watching their little girl become a woman and the pain of knowing that one day children grow up and need to spread their wings… or kill the entire prom. It’s all about perspective.

 

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