I am a fan of The Gilmore Girls.
You may love the show, you may hate it, you may have never heard of it. I used to make fun of it when it originally played on network TV. I thought Lorelai and Rory should just cut through all the sexual tension and kiss. I suppose I thought it was my man's duty to indulge such musings.
But last year -- seven years after the show ended -- I got hooked. In about three months I got through all seven seasons. Late at night I would start wherever I left off on Netflix and power through a few episodes. I can't handle violence or assholery right before bed. I won't watch stressful shows like Breaking Bad. But The Gilmore Girls was my jam. I loved the repartee between Lorelai and Rory. I loved the oddball, peppy little town of Stars Hollow.
I wanted to live in Stars Hollow myself. I wanted to Matrix myself into the town square. I wanted to walk the streets among all the happy people zipping by on bikes or on foot. Stars Hollow was end-of-the-line chic, like the town of Willoughby in that episode of The Twilight Zone, only for people who didn't care to jump off trains in a snow storm.
Nothing really bad happened in Stars Hollow. As Rory put it, there was no "seedy underbelly" to the town. No one would ever shoot up Miss Patty's dance school or the little social room where people watched movies like Attack of the 50-Foot Woman. The closest thing to a hipster in Stars Hollow was the town troubadour.
Months after I finished the show's final season, I wondered if I'd gone through a weird phase. But when I started watching Season One again a few weeks ago, I found I still love The Gilmore Girls. I still want to live in Stars Hollow. I want to be the guy in back of Luke's Diner smiling stupidly at his grilled cheese sandwich while Lorelai and Rory toss off movie references and exchange witty banter at the speed of a Howard Hawks film.
Hell, maybe I would jump off a train to live in Stars Hollow.
Not sure what that says about me. I'm not like the guy in The Twilight Zone with his horrible wife and his ulcer. Maybe I'm just an imaginary people-person.
Maybe I just dig Lauren Graham.
The show returns to Netflix with new episodes next year, but that's not why I'm telling you all this. Before The Gilmore Girls, I was obsessed with Perry Mason, the old courtroom drama starring Raymond Burr. I wanted to live in the world of Mason like I wanted to live in the world of the Gilmores. I wanted to alter crime scenes with Mason and Drake like I wanted to boo Taylor Doose at Stars Hollow town-hall meetings. I wanted to swallow the red pill and wake up in Mason's office with a roll of cash and a flimsy excuse for why I didn't kill someone.
Instead I tried several times to write about a guy who Matrixes into the Perry Mason show and turns Mason's world into Hell. Finally, late last year, I hit upon a new concept that became my short story, "Party Monster."
I wrote the first draft last December between shifts as a seasonal driver helper for UPS. I worked under a wide range of influences, from late-night conversations with a friend to occult rituals to Joseph Campbell to Chuck Palahniuk. "Party Monster" grew from a tale of extreme delusional escapism to one of powerful mystical transformation. A few months later it was accepted by Grey Matter Press for PEELING BACK THE SKIN, a collection of short horror fiction exploring the theme of humans as monsters. I'm excited to share details about the book's upcoming release.
Which means I'm kind of on the fence right now about train-jumping for afterlife status in Stars Hollow. Unless, of course, the face of Jesus is served on Luke's grilled cheese sandwiches -- that might be worth it.