Just this week, an incredibly influential man in my life passed away. This man pushed my creative depths and made me see the world in a different light when I was in high school. Maybe even JR high. I was kind of popular, but just weird enough that I wasn’t really invited to the in-crowd’s parties.
I liked horror. I enjoyed movies that were based around a monstrous being terrorizing a group of teenagers. I wasn’t Goth by any means, but my obsession with blood and guts made me just odd enough that I was labeled as a freak. But I didn’t care about any of that. Because neither did either of my fathers.
My Father and I
Now let me explain when I say fathers. Plural. I was part of a nuclear family. One mom, one dad, a brother and a dog. But my curiosity and passion for movies and Halloween were deep. I dressed up as a countess, a witch, and a devil when I was younger, I think the only time I was a princess was in the 3rd grade because I felt the pressure of my peers baring down on me.
But my Dad taught me at a very young age to not care what others thought of me, because honestly, my Dad was the weirdest guy I knew. Out there and opinionated every day of my life. He adored Halloween and his love was passed down to me. Through the womb, because I’m told I came out looking like a monkey. Happy Halloween Mom and Dad! In the middle of May.
I carried around a little ugly deformed baby doll, and it was my favorite. Snot hanging out of its’ nose and the most contorted face of what must have been a dirty diaper. I think my dad actually had it before I was even born and at the age of 3 I fell in love with it.
Even though my Dad was really into Halloween. I mean, this guy turned our home into a haunted house for all the kiddies and adults every year for Trick or Treat night. He insisted that regardless of what night the 31st of October fell on, that would be the Town’s Halloween. Oh, he was also totally the Mayor of my small town for nearly my entire life, since I was the age of 2. But he wasn’t into Horror movies.
A foreign concept, I know! I didn’t get that quirk from my real father. I got it from the late great Wes Craven. Master of horror and the meta. My brother showed my A Nightmare on Elm Street when I was like 8. And Freddy didn’t even phase me. It was then I knew my passion of horror. Wes created my high school career; I can’t even begin to explain how he influenced my perspective of life at one of the most influential ages of a young teenager.
On Sunday, he passed in the comforts of his home after losing a battle to brain cancer. This news rocked me to the bone, because this man who made my high school career, who influenced the “freak” in me, passed from the same illness as my father.
My Dad died in October 2013, one month after his diagnosis of brain cancer. My Father didn’t even get a chance to battle it, I saw him wither away in front of my eyes. The man who taught me to read. This six foot plus guy who dressed up as Frankenstein’s monster the year I wanted to be the Bride of Frankenstein.
I lost myself at the age of 23, two years ago. I finished graduate school on time. A feat that many were surprised by. But I stopped blogging as much. I didn’t analyze movies like I used to. I would vedge out in front of Netflix and pity myself because my dad would never walk me down the aisle. Now, my media father has passed. A man I always dreamed of meeting. Some day and shake his hand and tell him how he shaped my life. Shaped me.
But with the sadness of his death, my life has re-awoken. Losing both my “dads” to the same illness 2 years apart. Fuck that! I mean it! I’m done feeling sad for myself. I have a talent. Writing. Story telling. Pop culture. Using pop culture to my advantage while writing my stories.
I’m not going to hide it any more. I’m going to hit that keyboard hard this weekend. And I am going to write something that both Wes and my Father would be proud of. Because a Father’s influence …. It will never fade.