No comfort at all


Can we blame the child for resenting the fantasy of largeness?

Big soft arms and deep voices in the dark saying,

“Tell Papa,

tell Mama,

and we’ll make it right.”

The child, screaming for refuge, senses how feeble a shelter the twig hut of grown-up awareness is. They claim strength, these parents, and complete sanctuary. The weeping earth itself knows how desperate is the child’s need for exactly that sactuary. How deep and sticky is the darkness of childhood, how rigid the blades of infant evil, which is unadulterated, unresttrained by the convenient cushions of age and its civilizing anesthesia.

Grownups can deal with scraped knees, dropped ice-cream cones, and lost dollies, but if they suspected the real reasons we cry the would fling us out of their arms in horrified revulsion. Yet we are small and a terrified as we are terrifying in our ferocious appetites.

We need that warm adult stupidity. Even knowing the illusion, we cry and hide in their laps, speaking only of defiled lollipops or lost bears, and getting a lollipop or a toy bear’s worth of comfort.

We make do with it rather than face alone the cavernous reaches of our skulls

for which there is no remedy,

no safety,

no comfort at all.

We survive until, by sheer stamina, we escape into the dim innocence of our own adulthood and its forgetfulness. 

-Geek Love, Katherine Dunn

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