Justin Lacour

I go back to 1998 and discuss Night of the Hunter with myself


You would never drown poor Shelley Winters.
You’re not the preacher, dressed in black, 
“L O V E” and “H A T E” tattooed on 
his knuckles.  You root for the children,
on the run from preacher, hiding their daddy’s
money in a doll. The preacher kills all his wives
then claims love and hate wrestle
for his soul.  The townspeople eat this up
because they are idiots and can’t help the children.
The children are on their own and escape on a raft,
floating downstream like Moses or Huck Finn
or some other great innocents, while the preacher 
stumbles through the water after them, wailing,
a pain greater than just losing money.  
You think you’re like the children, alone, 
wandering a savage land, dodging monsters.
I’m not saying you’re the preacher. I’m 
saying you’re dumb and dumb 
can have the same effect as evil
in the right circumstances.  Today, you’ll 
drive your girlfriend of two months out to 
the country.  You’ll tell her it was just a nice day
for a drive, but once you’re in the middle of nowhere,
you’ll explain you’re actually on the way to buy
pain pills off a guy from your old job.
She wants no part of this, so your
solution is to leave her at a gas station.  You’ll
promise to be back for her before dark
(a promise you will break).  Twenty years from now,
you’ll want to stop yourself while it’s still light and go back
to her, sitting alone on a bench while truckers gas up
and mosquitoes come out for the evening, and
tell her you’re not the preacher, you’re not the children,
like most adults, you’re not evil, just useless.



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