It seems like I have always loved reading. It’s crazy but I remember trying to read a book to my drunken dad when I was 4. The book was about the dinosaurs and I read it to him in effort of calming him down. I failed but the wonderful world of others creation was opened for me and it stayed open thus far.
I am not really sure what influenced the type of art I enjoy the most, which always hides behind shady rock, just in between the broken bridge and the temptation to jump off it but my tastes in books were always steering towards tragic, scary, mysterious, incredibly sad mixture of this hard to express and understand world of feeling that always shied away from happiness to some extent. Plus I liked being scared.
Books (and later music) became an escape from this crazy, bad scary world (you see I always recognised two types of scared; one when you are in front of 10 thugs with baseball bats wanting to beat you up, and second one when you just got shocked by this enormously loud thunder) and for many years reading was probably keeping my alive and away from possibility of following a path leasing to prison.
There were Polish comic books since the age of 5-6, then came required reading books at school when I was 7 mixed with some Xmas gifts, few of them that really hit the spot like a book full of Polish myths and legends; and few years later I wanted to understand why my mum laughed while reading so I started reading her favourite Polish author Joanna Chmielewska, who created this crazily funny criminal books but the real breakthrough came when I discovered “The Keep” by F. Paul Wilson while browsing through my aunts book shelf looking for my lost childhood in my favourite comic books.
I found the comic books and smiled to myself remembering all the afternoons filled with rain and me using the reading as an umbrella but I also found “The Keep” and read few pages and I was completely lost in this wonderful world full if the “good scary”.
What followed the discovery was several years of near obsessive reading. It was the nineties in Poland, we escaped the Russian regime and there was more and more western stuff.
I discovered writers like Graham Masterton, Peter Straub, Stephen King, Dean Koontz to name only few, I was so hungry that I was signed up to several local libraries and I used to visit them often like a manic predator looking for its prey. Eventually I run out of books in my genre to read but I was lost, like an addict looking for his fix.
Since I enjoyed some legends and myths, history as such became one of my favourite subjects I started going for historical accounts, books about war times, the horrendously sad stories of soldiers in their journal. For some reason I just needed to be filled in with pain, sadness and dread.
And when in middle school we hit the romanticism era… Oh boy… I so understood some of the characters struggles that it was making me really feel out of space and time.
By then I realised that being a reflective type of a person I always needed the “my time” and I was OK with that. Sometimes it was difficult to achieve that in public places as I never liked reading in buses, waiting rooms etc and that’s where the music came to rescue.
I didn’t get really heavily into music until my late teens and it was still more of a quest to find that something that’d help me express inner self. In order to find that though I had to meet a girl who needed to meet a particular boy and who showed him her world of music.
That world of music initially made my physically unwell as in dizziness, headaches and a bit of confusion but I persisted and all of sudden the wide world of various genres of metal music came to my rescue and I think that completed my search for the ultimate drug, ultimate escape from this world.
In short, horror books and Gothic/metal music became my sanity, became that only thing I could hold onto when sometimes everything else went completely mad.
And I hope to share some of that with whoever comes here and wants to dive in or just take a lazy Sunday’s walk.
I’m looking forward to rediscovering some of that relief from sadness I found during my youth.